SLAVE OF SOULS

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human spirit (post-Hyborian era to modern era)

Occupation: Reincarnated spirit; former slave

Group Membership: Formerly an unidentified pharaoh's slaves

Affiliations: Alicia Masters, Thing (Ben Grimm) (unwilling host body), the wizard

Enemies: NYPD (Monihan, others), the US military (McRoy, others); formerly the pharaoh, the pharaoh's third wife

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Churl," "monster" (insults from the pharaoh's wife)

Base of Operations: The afterlife; formerly post-Hyborian era Egypt

First Appearance: Thing I#8 (February, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: After being cursed with eternal reincarnation, the Slave of Souls' consciousness was constantly being reincarnated into new host bodies over the course of thousands of years, where it usually remained dormant. When his soul was allowed to become dominant within its host body, the Slave of Souls could transform its host into a form resembling his original body and he could completely control his host body, leaving his host body at his own discretion.

He was apparently able to take others with him when he departed his host body.

While possessing the Thing's body, the Slave of Souls had access to the Thing's superhuman strength and durability. He also carried a spear.

Height: 6'
Weight: (originally): 172 lbs. (by approximation); (while possessing Thing): 500 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Unrevealed (see comments)

History: (Thing I#8 (fb)) - In ancient Egypt, the man who would be someday be called the Slave of Souls was picked from among an unnoteworthy pharaoh's slaves by the pharaoh's third wife, due to his pleasing face and form, to be a consort. Despite the pharaoh's vizier's attempts to dissuade her, the pharaoh's wife had the slave brought to her and promised the key to the slave's shackles if he were to serve her. The slave instead rejected her, announcing that she had no claim to his freedom, prompting the pharaoh's wife to assault the slave, shocked at his refusal to serve his queen. The slave's interaction with the pharaoh's wife was interrupted by the arrival of the pharaoh himself, who demanded to know who the man with his wife was Still spurned by the slave, the pharaoh's wife claimed that the man was a kitchen slave who had refused to prepare a special feast for the pharaoh's return and despite the pharaoh's knowledge that his wife was lying, he ordered the slave punished for his insolence in an effort to keep his much younger wife happy. The pharaoh then ordered his soldier to knock the slave unconscious, opting to decide a suitable punishment for the slave the following day. The pharaoh's wife then asked if she could decide the punishment and the pharaoh agreed as the slave was dragged away. The following morning, the pharaoh announced that the slave's punishment, as decided by his wife, was to have smoldering metal rods driven into his brain through his eyes. Refusing to beg for his life, the slave remained silent, angering the queen once more, who decided to have her the vizier, a wizard, curse the slave by cast a spell that would eternally reincarnate the slave in another's body rather than allow him to pass into death. Saddened by the queen's request, the wizard asked that he be spared from having to commit such a terrible request but the queen ordered the wizard to do so lest he be punished with a far greater punishment than that of the slave. The wizard then did as he was told, chanting the spell that would refuse the slave death as the rods were driven into the slave's rods, all the while thinking how he would somehow find a counter-spell to someday spare the slave from his curse.

(Thing I#9 (fb) - BTS) - Over four thousand years, the slave's consciousness was reincarnated into several insignificant host bodies as the slave remained constantly aware and conscious of his fate, unable to act.

(Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 6: Fantastic Four - Slave of Souls entry (fb) - BTS) - The slave began to be called the Slave of Souls.

(Thing I#8) - In the modern era, the wizard, having survived time via an age-retarding potion, located the slave's consciousness within the heroic Thing when the Thing was visiting Alicia Masters in Mercy General Hospital, where the wizard worked as a janitor. Confronting the Thing, the wizard released the Slave of Souls' consciousness within the Thing, allowing the Slave of Souls to dominate the Thing's will and control the Thing's body. Free at last, the Slave of Souls announced that the world should tremble at his newfound freedom.

(Thing I#9) - The Slave of Souls rampaged through New York, destroying anything in his way and announcing that he now had enough power to lay waste to the "mad city of the future." Feeling as if he had lived countless stupid, useless lives, the Slave of Souls felt he now had enough power to enact vengeance on those who had betrayed and imprisoned him in the past. Eventually, the US military was called in to battle the Slave of Souls and they used a Reed Richards-designed weapon against the Slave to no avail. Reuniting with the wizard that had cursed him, the Slave of Souls then ventured into a United Nations meeting, where he declared his rule of all lands of the world, prompting a confrontation with the NYPD and Alicia Masters, who had been rescued during the Slave's rampage by a police officer. After Alicia Masters debated with the Slave of Souls, insisting he had no claim over the Thing's body, the Slave began to admit that eventually, the Thing's body would eventually grow old and die, leaving the Slave to continue his inevitable reincarnation into another body, making his actions within the Thing pointless. The wizard quickly tried to convince the Slave of Souls otherwise, reminding him how he had lived so long and didn't wish to see his plans shrivel. Questioning the wizard, the Slave learned of the wizard's centuries-old plan to revive him at the cost of another's soul. When Alicia chimed in, the Slave of Souls announced that he would do what he must but the wizard attempted to resume his influence over the Slave, ordering the Slave of Souls to kill Alicia Masters. Instead, the Slave of Souls lifted the wizard into the air using his spear, then proclaimed to Alicia that he had wanted only justice but had no right to deny justice to another soul. He then announced that he could leave the world as easily as he entered it and did so, taking the wizard with him as he departed the Thing's body.

Comments: Created by John Byrne, Ron Wilson and Hilary Barta.

The Slave of Souls had a profile in Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 6: Fantastic Four (2004). His height and weight as the Thing were revealed in that profile. Presumably, the Slave of Souls' original height could also be 6' but his original weight was surely not 500 lbs., as it was while possessing Thing. This entry was also the only time the slave was called "Slave of Souls."

The Slave of Souls' hair color was impossible to determine, as the flashbacks to ancient Egypt only showed him wearing a headdress that covered his hair and in the modern era, he was only shown inhabiting the Thing's body.

The identity of the Pharaoh and his third wife are not revealed in Thing v1 #8, but there are details that we can use to make an educated guess. He reigned "four thousand years" ago, indicating an approximate date of circa 2000 BC, perhaps within a safe estimate sometime between 2100-1900 BC. The Great Sphinx of Giza stands, thus after the reign of Khafre (c. 2558-2532 BC). The Jews are still enslaved, thus before the reign of Ramses II (c. 1279-1212 BC). Note that if the Slave of Souls was a Jew and his reincarnations eventually resulted with Ben Grimm, it is notable regarding Ben Grimm's Jewish heritage. The Pharaoh's "third wife died while giving him his sixteenth son." Upon researching all the Pharaohs who reigned c. 2100-1900 BC, the one who seems to most closely match this description would be Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II, who reigned c. 2061-2010 BC (according to the Egyptian Conventional Chronology), who was a Pharaoh of the 11th Dynasty. He had many wives, including his primary wives Tem and Neferu, and several secondary wives including Henhenet, whose mummy shows that she had died in childbirth. Although Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II was not necessarily recorded as having sixteen sons, ancient history rarely records later children who are not the primary heirs or successors, and combined with high child mortality, it is reasonable why there is no note of a possible sixteenth son. -Wolfram Bane

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Slave of Souls has no KNOWN connections to:

McRoy has no KNOWN connections to:
"Wizard" has no KNOWN connections to:

McRoy

McRoy was a US soldier called in during the Slave of Souls' rampage within the Thing's body. Part of squad that was given a device created by Reed Richards that could melt a titanium steel block thirty feet within seconds, McRoy questioned the Slave's announcements of vengeance but was quieted by another soldier before the group set up the weapon and fired on the Slave. Unfortunately, the weapon proved useless and the Slave hurled his spear, destroying the weapon as McRoy and the other soldiers dove for cover.

McRoy possessed the typical weapons and training of a US military soldier.

--Thing I#9


pharaoh

Ruling four thousand years ago, the unidentified pharaoh was served by Jewish slaves and was "historically unnoteworthy." During one of the pharaoh's hunts, his much younger wife chose a slave as a lover but when the slave refused her advances, she attacked him just as the pharaoh returned from his hunt and demanded to know what was going on. Despite seeing through his wife's transparent lie that the slave had refused to prepare a banquet in the pharaoh's honor, the pharaoh accepted her ruse to keep his young wife happy. Announcing that the slave would be punished for his insolence, the pharaoh had the slave knocked unconsciouss when the slave tried to explain and had his guards take the slave away while he decided the slave's punishment. As the slave was taken away, the pharaoh's wife asked that she decide the slave's fate and the pharaoh agreed. The following day, the pharaoh announced that his wife had opted to have smoldering metal rods driven through the slave's eyes. When the slave appeared brave and refused to beg for his life, the pharaoh watched as his wife had the court wizard cast a spell that prevented the slave's soul from passing into the afterlife upon its physical death. The pharaoh then watched as his guards held down the slave as the metal rods were driven into his eyes and the wizard's spell cast.

--Thing I#8 (fb)

pharaoh's wife

Cruel and passionate, the third wife of an unremarkable pharaoh was known for hand-picking lovers from her husband's slaves. During one such time, when her husband was away on a hunt, the pharaoh's wife picked a specific slave from a group despite the court wizard's worry that the pharaoh would return from his hunt shortly. Not concerned with the wizard's "unimportant details," the pharaoh's wife retreated to her luxurious room and had the slave brought to her, where she offered the key to the slave's shackles. When the slave announced that his freedom was not the queen's to give, the pharaoh's wife angrily assaulted the slave as the pharaoh himself arrived from his hunt. Quickly coming up with an alibi, the queen informed her husband that the slave had refused to prepare a special feast for the pharaoh's return. Despite seeing through his wife's excuse, the pharaoh accepted her lie to keep his queen happy and announced that the slave would be punished for his insolence. As the slave was dragged away, the pharaoh's wife asked if she could decide the slave's punishment and the pharaoh agreed. The following day, the pharaoh announced that his wife had opted to have burning metal rods driven through the slave's eyes. When the slave remained brave, the queen decided to punish the slave beyond mere death. She then ordered the court wizard to cast a spell that would prevent the slave's soul from passing into the afterlife upon his death. When the wizard requested not to be forced to do such a thing, the pharaoh's wife warned that he would do as he was told or she would devise an even worse punishment for the wizard. Reluctantly doing as he was told, the wizard cast the spell as the pharaoh and his wife watched. Following the slave's physical death, the wizard began secretly searching for a way to free the slave from his curse. As time passed, the pharaoh's wife died giving birth to the pharaoh's sixteenth son.

--Thing I#8 (fb)

"wizard"

The vizier of an unnoteworthy pharaoh of ancient Egypt,  the man known only as "Wizard" was also a magician and was ordered by his queen to send one of the pharaoh's slaves to the queen's quarters despite the wizard's attempts to dissuade the queen by reminding her of the pharaoh's impending return. When the pharaoh caught his queen arguing with the slave, who had refused her advances, he allowed the queen to determine the punishment for the slave. The following morning, after the slave refused to beg for his life upon the announcement of his punishment, the queen ordered the wizard to curse the slave to be eternally reincarnated rather than pass into death. The wizard begged to be spared of committing such a terrible punishment but the queen threatened a worse punishment for the wizard if he did not do as ordered. Reluctantly agreeing to curse the slave, the wizard also began plotting to find a way to remove the curse. Some time following the pharaoh's end and his wife's death in childbirth, the wizard accidentally discovered a secret potion that slowed his aging and departed Egypt. Slowly aging over thousands of years due to the potion, the wizard eventually became a janitor at Mercy General Hospital in New York, where he recognized the slave's spirit, this time reincarnated in the body of the heroic Thing. Thinking about his own past, the wizard decided to confront the Thing with an ancient box that would free the slave's consciousness. Unsure what was going on, the Thing crushed the box and the wizard continually attempted to convince the slave's consciousness to release itself. Moments later, the wizard's spell succeeded and the Slave of Souls became the dominant personality in the Thing's body, transforming it into a rocky-formed version of the slave's original body. Reuniting with the Slave of Souls, the wizard attempted to sway the Slave on a mission of vengeance and Earthly rule but the Slave of Souls was eventually convinced to leave the Thing's body by Alicia Masters. As the Slave departed the Thing's body, he took the manipulative wizard with him as he left the Earthly plane.

The wizard possessed powerful sorcerous abilities, allowing him to curse others with immortality or restore a soul's dominance over another's body. He also periodically ingested a potion that severely slowed his aging, allowing him to live for over four thousand years.

--Thing I#8 (#9,


images: (without ads)
Thing I#8, p11, pan3 (Slave of Souls, original form, main image)
Thing I#8, p12, pan4 (Slave of Souls headshot)
Thing I#8, p22, splash page (Slave of Souls possessing Thing)
Thing I#9, p12, pan3 (McRoy)
Thing I#8, p13, pan1 (pharaoh)
Thing I#8, p12, pan1 (pharaoh's wife)
Thing I#8, p18, pan2 ("Wizard")


Appearances:
Thing I#8 (February, 1984) - John Byrne (script), Ron Wilson (pencils), Hilary Barta (inks), Bob Budiansky (editor)
Thing I#9 (March, 1984) - John Byrne (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Bob Budiansky (editor)
Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 6: Fantastic Four (2004) - "Fantastic Four A to Z" section - Jeff Christiansen (head writer, research), Ronald Byrd, Michael Hoskin, Mark O'English (writers, research), Jeff Youngquist (editor)


Last updated: 11/06/16

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