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WRAITH HIGH WITCHES

Membership: "Maine Mara," "UK Mara," others (each taking the name "Mara")

Purpose: To use human children to fuel spells enabling Dire Wraith conquest of Earth

Aliases: Each Wraith High Witch was named "Mara"

Affiliations: The Ancient Sleeper, Conquistador, Dire Wraiths, the Dweller on the Threshold, the piper

Enemies: Ethan Carruthers; Namor; the people of Gwillyn Dale, Atlantis and Mallet, England, UK; Rom; Shang-Chi; Sir Denys Nayland Smith; Stephen; Sybil; Sybil's parents; Black Jack Tarr; Leiko Wu

Base of Operations: The coast of Maine, USA; Gwillyn Dale, Wales, UK; Mallet, England, UK

First Appearance: Rom I#33 (August, 1982)

History: (Rom I#33 (fb) - BTS) - Dire Wraiths slew the parents of a girl named Sybil. A Wraith High Witch then appeared at Sybil's home, claiming to be her "Aunt Mara." Mara told the girl that her parents had abandoned her.

(Rom I#34 (fb)) - At some point, the high witch Mara bewitched Sybil in her sleep.

(Rom I#33 (fb) - BTS) - Sybil went blind shortly thereafter. Mara also transformed Sybil's puppy Conquistador into a hellhound.    

(Rom I#33) - Mara found Sybil near the cliffs adjacent to her home. Mara and Conquistador led her away from the cliffs and back to her home. Later, several Dire Wraiths came to the house to discuss their mission and Mara revealed that she intended to transform Sybil the same way she had transformed Conquistador. Sybil was eavesdropping and attempted to flee but Conquistador detected her and gave chase. Just before he could catch her, Rom arrived and fought Conquistador. Rom defeated the hellhound and turned his attention to Mara. Mara transformed into a monstrous shadow creature but Rom's Neutralizer weapon nullified her magic and banished her to Limbo.   

(Rom I#34 (fb)) - Sybil and Rom reminisced about their recent experiences with Mara and Sybil recalled Mara bewitching her in her sleep.

(Rom I#35 - BTS) - Wraith High Witches were responsible for the Dire Wraith plot to revive the Ancient Sleeper to attack Atlantis.   

(Rom I#36 (fb)) - Dire Wraiths abducted children from the Welsh village of Gwillyn Dale at the direction of a high witch. The witch demanded that a child be given to the wraiths each full moon or the village would be destroyed.

(Rom I#36) - Rom flew to Wales and found a boy named Stephen, who had been tied up in a field and left as tribute for the wraiths. Rom untied the boy but was attacked by wraiths, including the high witch.  She boasted that her powers were at their peak due to a stellar convergence and battled Rom briefly before teleporting away.

(Rom I#37) - Rom tracked the high witch to a castle and attacked just as she was about to perform a spell that would transform the children into her slaves. Rom dispatched several of her henchmen but she then summoned shadow creatures that proved resistant to Rom's Neutralizer. Unable to defeat the creatures, Rom instead turned his Neutralizer on the high witch, banishing her to Limbo.    

(Rom I#38 (fb) - BTS) - A high witch (also named Mara) took over an orphanage in Mallet, England, imprisoning the children and replacing them with Dire Wraiths.  

(Rom I#38) - An official named Ethan Carruthers arrived at the orphanage to conduct an inspection. Unaware of the Dire Wraith high witch's true nature, Carruthers threatened to file charges against Mara due to the conditions at the orphanage. Mara set the "children" upon Carruthers and they nearly killed him but he was saved by Rom. While Rom kept the Wraiths occupied, he sent Carruthers to find the real children. Carruthers heard chanting coming from the basement and observed Mara performing a spell to transform the children into monsters. He grabbed a torch and hurled it at her, setting her robes ablaze. Mara attempted to blast Carruthers but Rom appeared once again and blocked the spell with his Neutralizer before banishing Mara to Limbo.

(Rom I#39 - BTS) - A high witch was behind the plot to revive a Wraith princess that had been entombed in ancient Egypt.

(Rom I#40) - A high witch met with other Dire Wraiths to discuss their recent attempts to destroy Rom and enslave Earth's children. In a final effort to achieve their goals, the witch conjured a mystical piper to enthrall the children and deliver them to the Dweller on the Threshold.  

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema and Joe Sinnott.

Rom ultimately defeated the high witch's piper. In issue #41, he and Dr. Strange defeated the Dweller on the Threshold and the planetary convergence passed. The High Witches were not seen after this. Presumably, they were rendered powerless when Wraithworld was destroyed.  

Profile by Chuck D.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Wraith High Witches have no known connections to:


Conquistador

Conquistador was originally a normal earth puppy owned by Sybil and her family. Mara transformed him into a hellhound, totally loyal to the Dire Wraiths and devoid of love and compassion. Conquistador found Sybil eavesdropping on the Wraiths and chased her, only to be stopped by Rom. Rom won the ensuing battle. Although he pitied the former pet, he could not release him from the Wraith spell and was forced to slay him.




--Rom I#33d


images: (without ads)
Rom I#38 pg. 19, panel 2 (Wraith High Witches, robed witch form, main image)
Rom I#38 pg. 11, panel 2 ("UK Mara," headshot)
Rom I#33 pg 17, pan3 ("Maine Mara," shadow form)
Rom I#33  pg. 2 panels 2-7 (Conquistador morphing)


Appearances:
Rom I#33 (August 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Rom I#3
4 (September 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Akin & Garvey (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Rom I#36 (November 1982)
- Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Akin & Garvey (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Rom I#37 (December 1982)
- Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Akin & Garvey (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Rom I#38 (January 1983)
- Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Akin & Garvey (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Rom I#40 (March 1983) - Bill Mantlo (
writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Akin & Garvey (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)


First Posted: 10/25/2018
Last updated: 10/25/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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