BINDINGS of the DEMON K'HUR
Classification: Magical items of clothing
Creator: Unrevealed (possibly a demon named K'hur)
User/Possessors: The Ancient One (Yao), The Conjuror (Nina)
First Appearance: Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#1 (December,
(identified) Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#2 (January, 2017)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Bindings of the Demon K'hur are two cuffs, possibly made of leather, that are worn on and cover the forearms of humans (and human-like creatures). Each cuff opens completely from end to end and has to be wrapped around the forearm and closed securely in order to be worn properly. Both cuffs have several small pockets on them, each with snap fasteners to hold them closed. Each cuff also has several metal rings attached to them and a row of open-ended sheaths for holding some unspecified long, thin implements. The Conjuror used these features to carry darts, daggers and magical bullets (for her pistol swords and her revolvers). The Conjuror also kept the key that Merlin gave her in one of the pockets.
Aside from these mundane properties, the bindings of the demon K'hur (and the sorcerer wearing them) can be charged with mystical energy by certain spells. Once charged, the bindings emit a yellow glow and enable their wearer to travel through the air in directed flight.
When charged, these bindings can also enable their wearer to project burning beams of mystical energy outwards through items (like pistol swords) held in his/her hands.
Limitations: The bindings can only hold a (very) limited charge of mystical energy. Once that energy has been expended, the bindings can no longer enable their wearer to fly or project energy blasts.
Being used to conduct enough energy to project mystical blasts can cause the bindings to smolder and give off smoke.
History: The origin of the Bindings of the demon K'hur have not been revealed.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#9) - While in early 21st century New York City, the young sorcerer Yao was given the cuffs known as the Bindings of the Demon K'hur by Nina, a Sorceress Supreme known as the Conjuror. As she presented the cuffs to Yao, Nina addressed him as "Master" and stated that it had been a pleasure to see him again. Nina then told Yao that when he saw her next he shouldn't forget to gift the cuffs back to her.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#10-12 - BTS) - Yao presumably had the cuffs out of sight somewhere on his person during his subsequent travels to a Hell dimension linked to an alternate late 21st century future Earth and to the Beaches of Nevermore in his own time, the 15th century. Yao also presumably had the cuffs in his possession when he later walked the path to the Well of Longing to drink from the Cup of Eternity.
(Marvel Tarot#1 (fb) - BTS) <1450 A.D.> - Yao became Earth's Sorcerer
(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#23/2 (fb) - BTS) <1666 A.D.> - During his first confrontation with Dormammu, "the Himalayan-born mystic" had "recently become the Earth's magical protector -- its Sorcerer Supreme."
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, many years later, a much older Yao started to be known as the Ancient One.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#9 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, probably in the 1940s, a young Brazilian woman named Nina came to study magic under the tutelage of the Ancient One.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#9 (fb) - BTS) - At some point during Nina's training, the Ancient One gifted her with (a set of) the Bindings of the demon K'hur.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#4 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in the 1950s, Nina (now calling herself the Conjuror) became the Sorceress Supreme during a period when the Ancient One was temporarily (believed to be) dead.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#4 (fb)) - The Conjuror was wearing the bindings when she tracked down Merlin and questioned him about the location of her missing brother João. Merlin told her that João was no longer her brother because he had traveled back to Merlin's time, drawn by a power that no mortal could understand, and that that power had corrupted him. Merlin also showed the Conjuror a key and told her that, when the time came, she would be the one to lock her brother away forever.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#1 (fb) - BTS) - In Merlin's time, the Conjuror was wearing the bindings when she fought several battles against the Forgotten's beast-men alongside the group of Sorcerers Supreme that Merlin had gathered.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#1) - The Conjuror was wearing the
bindings when she and the other Sorcerers Supreme fought a battle against the beast-men during
which Merlin had time-traveled away and returned with Doctor Strange. As soon as the battle
was over, Nina was approached by Merlin who asked her to hold onto a certain key. Nina
protested that she was not ready but Merlin reminded her that she was the Conjuror and the
key was hers now to keep safe.
Only minutes later, the Forgotten attacked, bursting up out of the ground, seizing Merlin and fatally crushing him.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#2) - Following Merlin's death, more beast-men came up out of the ground to aid the Forgotten and the Sorcerers Supreme began to fight back. During the battle, the Conjuror and Demon Rider ended up fighting alongside each other. Demon Rider noticed what the Conjuror was wearing on her forearms and spoke to her, asking, "Your cuffs...Those are bindings of the demon K'hur, yes?" The Conjuror confirmed her observation by replying, "You know your magic." Demon Rider stated that she knew all magic and then cast a spell, saying, "This spell will charge them. And you."
With her cuffs now glowing yellow with mystical energy, the Conjuror thanked Demon Rider, saying, "Perfect. You, I like." She then used the cuffs to take to the air.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#2) - While flying at the Forgotten, the Conjuror used the bindings to fire burning beams of energy directly at the monster's face, causing it to cry out in pain.
However, the magical charge on the bindings wore off only seconds later and the bindings began to smolder. No longer able to fly, the Conjuror began to plummet headfirst towards the ground, but she managed to land without injury.
Soon afterwards, Wiccan realized that they would not be able to win against the Forgotten and its beast-men so he teleported all of the surviving sorcerers away from the battle. The group appeared on a beach near Merlin's home, but then fell victim to a booby trap set there by Merlin at some point in the past, and the Mindful One had to rescue them. Following that, Newton led them through a forest to Merlin's castle so that they could get more magic and weapons from Merlin's library. The Conjuror wore the bindings during this journey.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#3) - After reaching Merlin's castle, the Sorcerers found and entered his library. Although most of them began to search for magic that they could use against the Forgotten, the Conjuror sought out one particular item and went directly to a specific bookcase. Once there, the Conjuror opened a sliding door on one of the shelves and found a book that was sealed with a padlock. Taking a key that Merlin had given her from one of the pockets on her left cuff, the Conjuror unlocked the padlock, opened the book and ripped out (at least) one of the pages. She then closed and relocked the book and put the key back in her cuff's pocket. Soon after, the Forgotten managed to enter the library and grab that same book before leaving to travel to the Hollow Out of Time. The Sorcerers then decided that they had to follow the Forgotten to the Hollow and destroy it once and for all.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#4) - After entering the Hollow Out of Time, the Sorcerers were taken by surprise and incapacitated by the Forgotten. The collective entity then explained its origin and the role that Merlin had played it creating it, and while it was thus distracted the Conjuror quietly got Strange's attention, pointed at the door to the cell where the Forgotten had been imprisoned and showed him Merlin's key. The Forgotten noticed them opening the cell door, and a fight began, but it was soon ended when Newton used the Word to split the Forgotten back into the individual magicians out of whom it had been created. The Conjuror and the others then tried to force Newton into the cell, but he had prepared for them and the Conjuror, Doctor Strange, Kushala, Wiccan and Yao ended up trapped in the cell instead.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#5-9) - The Conjuror continued to wear the bindings while she and the others were trapped in the cell in the Hollow (until her brother freed them), while she and the others were stuck in the other-dimensional trap set for them by Newton (until they escaped), during the confrontation with Newton in New York's Central Park and when they sought medical assistance from the Night Nurse at her clinic. The Conjuror also wore the bindings when the sorcerers and the Avengers confronted the Author of the Word of God in Central Park, when the sorcerers were trapped within the Word of God tome while on the Author's other-dimensional homeworld, and during the final confrontation with the Author.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#9) - The Conjuror continued to wear the bindings after Wiccan used the Mark of Sorrow to kill the Author and transport them back to Central Park on Earth. However, once Newton had been restrained and Yao and the Mindful One had been restored, the Conjuror announced that it was time that she and her brother returned home to their own time. Before they left, Nina approached Yao, presented the bindings to him, told him that it had been a pleasure to see him again, addressed him as "Master" and told him that when he saw her next he shouldn't forget to gift the cuffs back to her. Wiccan then cast a spell that transported Nina and João back home to 1950s Brazil.
Comments: Created by Robbie Thompson, Javier Rodriguez and Álvaro López.
These bindings are only mentioned once, when Demon Rider asks the Conjuror if the "cuffs" that she is wearing "are bindings of the demon K'hur, yes?" They seem to be an example of a type of protective garment known as "cowboy cuffs" because they are worn by cowboys to protect the wrist, forearm, and shirtsleeve from injury or damage caused by ropes, branding irons, brush, wire fencing, and other hazards. Cowboy cuffs (also known as "wrist cuffs" or "wrist chaps") are usually made out of leather. Some cowboy cuffs open completely from top to bottom, while others remain partially closed. They may close with snaps, buckles, other closures, or a combination.
Although The Marvel Tarot#1
(August, 2007) and other "official" texts that are based on it claim
that the Ancient One became Earth's Sorcerer Supreme c. 1450 A.D., I
think it's worth noting that a much earlier story gave a different
date. According to the Book of the Vishanti back-up story that was
written by Roy Thomas and R.J.M. (Randy and Jean-Marc) Lofficier and
published in Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#23 (November, 1990),
Dormammu's first attempt to conquer Earth took place in the year 1666
A.D. and the Great Fire of London was a minor side effect of Dormammu's
entry into the Earth-plane. Dormammu was opposed and defeated by "the
Himalayan-born mystic who would many years later be called -- the
Ancient One" who had "recently become the Earth's magical protector --
its Sorcerer Supreme." Since this information was presented first and
in a story instead of a handbook, I would have chosen to consider it to
be canon instead of what Ian McNeee wrote the Marvel Tarot. Ah, well.
--I'm inclined to agree, but to clarify:
Connection to the demon K'hur
Kushala's statement that the bindings are "of the demon K'hur" is frustrating because it's so vague that I can think of three different possible meanings:
1. The bindings are "of" the demon K'hur because they were once used to restrain that demon.
2. The bindings are "of" K'hur because he (or she or it) created them.
3. The bindings are "of" K'hur because the leather out of which they were made is the tanned hide of that demon.
As far as I know, nobody has ever clarified exactly how the demon K'hur (or is it K'Hur?) came to be associated with these cuffs.
A causal loop? Or something else?
So, Nina wears the Bindings of the demon K'hur throughout the series and then, when she is just about to return to her own time, she reveals to young Yao that she was/will be his student, gives the bindings to him and tells him to "gift these back" to her when he next sees her. This would mean that these cuffs are gifted back and forth repeatedly between Nina (and the young Yao) and the Ancient One (and a younger Nina) in an unending cycle. In other words, a causal loop.
According to Wikipedia, "A causal loop is a sequence of events (actions, information, objects, people) in which an event is among the causes of another event, which in turn is among the causes of the first-mentioned event. Such causally-looped events then exist in spacetime, but their origin cannot be determined." Causal loops make for interesting twist endings in works of fiction but I find them very aggravating because they are IMPOSSIBLE. Not only would any such objects have to exist without ever having been created, which is paradoxical, the objects must also cycle through an infinite number of loops without aging, which is impossible, and an infinite number of versions of said objects would have to somehow co-exist simultaneously in the same physical forms, which is also impossible. The combination of these impossibilities negatively affects any suspension of disbelief that may have been required for me to enjoy the causal loop story in the first place. It is for this reason that I have devised a theory that could explain how something that appears to be a causal loop might not be one after all.
The fact that Nina clearly believes that the cuffs that she is giving to young Yao are the same cuffs that the Ancient One gave/will give to her in his future/her past does not mean that that is what actually happened. It could be that young Yao took Nina's cuffs with him back to his own time but then put them away and only later came into possession of an earlier version of the cuffs which he eventually gave to Nina. In this scenario, the cuffs were created somewhere, then Yao acquired them and kept them for centuries before he (as the Ancient One) gave them to Nina who kept them for years before giving them to his younger self. Although this would mean that two versions of the same item would have to have co-existed for centuries, there would not be the closed loop required for it to be a causal loop.
However, there is one potential problem with this scenario: If Nina gave the cuffs to Yao because the Ancient One had told her that he had received them from her when he was a young man during a time travel adventure in the early 21st century, then that information would become a causal loop of its own, with Yao learning the data from Nina who heard it from the Ancient One who learned it from Nina when he was Yao, and so on and so on and so on.
Fortunately, there is a way around this problem. All it requires is that Yao soon realizes the possibility that the cuffs might become part of a causal lop and takes steps to avoid it. Suppose that Yao, after returning to his own time and secreting away the cuffs he received from Nina, then cast a spell on himself to remove his memory of the cuffs and how he acquired them? Let us further suppose that young Yao then traveled into the future again and during that adventure he met a young woman who gave him the Bindings of the demon K'hur? Once (again) back in his own time, Yao kept this version of the bindings until the mid-20th century when, as the Ancient One, he gave them to Nina and while doing so he mentioned that he had received them when he was much younger from a young woman he had met during a time travel adventure. If this information caused Nina to later ASSume that she was the young woman from whom young Yao received the cuffs, then anything that she did because she believed she was predestined to do it would actually have NOT been part of a causal loop after all.
In conclusion, the point of these last few paragraphs has been to express how much I do not like it when causal loops diminish my enjoyment of a time travel story and how much I hope that some future story will retroactively reveal that the Bindings of the demon K'hur are not part of such a paradox. I guess only time will tell what happens with this (apparent) causal loop.
Profile by Donald Campbell.
The Bindings of the Demon K'hur have no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#9, page 19, panel 5 (main image)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#2, page 6, panel 3 (named)
page 7, panel 1 (charged up)
pages 7-8, panel 2 (flying and firing)
pages 7-8, panel 4 (falling and smouldering)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#4, page 11, panel 3 (removing the key)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#9, page 19, panel 4 (being given to Yao)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#1-4 (December, 2016 - March, 2017) - Robbie Thompson (writer), Javier Rodriguez (penciler), Álvaro López (inker), Nick Lowe (editor)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#5 (April, 2017) - Robbie Thompson (writer), Nathan Stockman (penciler), (no inker listed), Nick Lowe (editor)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#6 (May, 2017) - Robbie Thompson (writer), Javier Rodriguez (penciler), Álvaro López (inker), Nick Lowe (editor)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#7 (June, 2017) - Robbie Thompson (writer), Javier Rodriguez (penciler), Álvaro López & Guillermo Ortego (inkers), Darren Shan (editor)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#8-9 (July - August, 2017) - Robbie Thompson (writer), Javier Rodriguez (penciler), Álvaro López (inker), Darren Shan (editor)
First Posted: 05/30/2019
Last updated: 05/30/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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