"the book with the sutured heart on its front cover"
Classification: Book, magical artifact/relic
later the Conjuror (Nina);
lastly the Forgotten
First Appearance: Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#3 (February, 2017)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: This book is known to have been one of the magical relics that the Forgotten needed in order to perform a ritual meant to "break" the Hollow Out of Time. This presumably means that it contained some degree of magical power within it but nothing was ever revealed about the nature or strength of that power.
The book was large and thick and apparently bound in brown leather. The spine had three metal bands that extended around it from the back to front covers, and the end of each band was attached to its cover with three screws or rivets. There were three metal clasps on the edge of the book that opened, each firmly attached with five screw or rivets. Only the center clasp had a loop through with the shackle (shank?) of the padlock could be passed to lock it closed. The other two clasps were apparently somehow kept locked by that same padlock but exactly how this worked is unrevealed.
There was a raised rectangular area on the book's front cover. Within that area was an image of what looked like a human heart that had been cut open vertically but was held together by four large cruciate ("X"; or cross-mattress) sutures. This sutured heart was surrounded by what looked like orange flames.
Each of the book's four corners opposite the spine was covered by a triangular metal sheath, presumably to protect them from damage.
The book had a dark red ribbon bookmark bound into it. What page the ribbon was being used to mark was not revealed.
When the book was opened, the pages that were revealed appeared to glow slightly with their own light. This may have been a feature meant to enable readers to read it in the dark. Alternatively, the glow may have just been something that was added, as artistic license, by the colorist.
The reason why a padlock was used to keep the book closed was never revealed but it can be presumed that it was because the information recorded on its pages was either too sensitive or too dangerous for just anyone to read. Perhaps, like the Darkhold, reading from the book would be enough to curse the soul of anyone who had not taken precautions against it. However, this is just speculation.
History: Little is known about the history of this book. Even its actual name has never been revealed.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#3 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Merlin of Camelot acquired this book and placed it within his library.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#4 (fb)) - In the 1950s, a Brazilian
sorceress named Nina who called herself the Conjuror became the Sorceress Supreme (probably
during a time when the Ancient One was "dead").
Later, when her brother João disappeared, Nina tracked down Merlin and confronted him. Merlin revealed that João had come to Merlin's time, drawn to a power that had corrupted him, and that Merlin had imprisoned him and others like him to protect the world. However, now that the corrupted ones had escaped, Merlin decided that he and the Conjuror would have to find people who would help them against the escapees. When Nina asked if Merlin could set João free, Merlin stated that nothing could do that, not anymore, and he then held up a key and told Nina that she would be the one to lock her brother away for good.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#3 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, The Conjuror learned of this book (probably from Merlin) and that it contained a page that she needed to remove for reasons that have never been revealed.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#1 (fb) - BTS) - In order to defeat the monster known as the Forgotten, Merlin traveled through time to gather a group of Sorcerers Supreme that included Yao, a young version of the Ancient One from the 15th century; Sir Isaac Newton and his Mindful One servant from the late 17th century; the Demon Rider (Kushala) from the late 19th century; and Wiccan (Billy Kaplan) from an alternate late 21st century Earth.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Conjuror and the rest of the group of Sorcerers Supreme that Merlin had gathered fought several battles against the Forgotten's beast-men.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#1) - Later, during another battle
with the beast-men, Merlin time-traveled away to the early 21st century and returned with
Doctor Strange. As soon as the battle was over, Merlin approached Nina and asked her to hold
onto a certain key. Knowing what this meant, 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. Neither of them
seemed to notice that the Mindful One was watching them.
Only minutes later, the Forgotten attacked, bursting up out of the ground, seizing Merlin and inflicting fatal crushing injuries on him.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#3) - After removing the Nordic warding that had protected Merlin's part of a castle, the team of Sorcerers Supreme went to the door to Merlin's library which they unlocked using a key that Merlin had previously given to Newton. Once inside the library, most of the sorcerers split up to look for whatever the Forgotten was seeking or for any spells and ancient magic that they could use to fight their foe. However, the Conjuror had a certain specific object in mind and went directly to a certain shelf on a certain bookcase where she slid open a sliding panel to reveal a book with a sutured heart on its front cover that was locked shut with a padlock. Using the key that Merlin had insisted she take, the Conjuror unlocked the padlock, opened the book and ripped out (at least) one of its pages. Nina did not seem to notice that the Mindful One was again watching her.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#3 - BTS) - After doing whatever it was that she had needed to do, the Conjuror closed the book, locked it with the padlock and put it back where she had found it.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#3) - Soon afterwards, the Sorcerers were attacked by wandering spirits that had been removed from the bodies of the people in the castle above and turned aggressive. Sensing that the path home was now open, the Forgotten invaded Merlin's library and used the Light of Darkness amulet to destroy some of the spirits. The Forgotten revealed that it was seeking revenge against them because they were people who had done nothing to help the magicians who had rotted in prison after Merlin had condemned them despite not having committed any crimes. The Sorcerers fought back but were ineffective until Demon Rider allowed her Spirit of Vengeance to take over her body and attack. Seconds later, Wiccan managed to use a mirror to reflect one of the black beams of energy from the amulet back at the Forgotten, causing its head to split into eleven different heads, each controlled by its own separate personality. Almost immediately after they manifested, one of the heads was cut off by the Spirit of Vengeance, effectively killing the consciousness of the three-eyed magician who had been Phoyu. Although one of the remaining heads wanted to make the Sorcerers bleed for what they had done, the majority agreed that they had what they needed (the book with the sutured heart on its cover) so they retreated from the battle and the library, stating as they did so that they must now prepare the ritual and return to the Hollow at last.
(Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#4) - The Sorcerers Supreme made their way down to the Hollow Out of Time but were surprised by the Forgotten and subdued before they could react. The Forgotten then revealed its origin and showed its captive audience all of the relics that it had gathered in preparation for its attempt to break the Hollow Out of Time. One of those relics was the book with the sutured heart on its front cover. However, the Forgotten's plans for the relics were soon delayed when the Sorcerers attacked and then were permanently thwarted when Newton used a Word to split the collective entity back into the individual magicians from whom it had been created.
What happened to this book and all the other relics after Newton effectively destroyed the Forgotten has not been revealed. This book may have been taken by one of the surviving magicians when they left their former prison.
Comments: Created by Robbie Thompson, Javier Rodriguez and Álvaro López.
This particular book was never named in the Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme series. A profile on The Forgotten refers to it only as "a book with a human heart shape on the front." I've chosen to refer to it as the Book of the Sutured Heart because it's a slightly shorter and more distinctive name. I was going to use "sewn-up" instead of "sutured" but I asked Snood for his medical opinion and he said that "Sutured is most appropriate, because it is specifically bringing two edges together, especially so because it involves tissue rather than just materials."
When Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme began, the Forgotten had already collected most of relics that it needed for its ritual, and this book was the only relic that the Forgotten was shown acquiring. The Forgotten's statement in issue #2 about how "now it is time to bring the light of darkness back" presumably indicates that they acquired the Light of Darkness amulet later in that issue but they were not shown doing so.
Although some elements of the storyline in this series were resolved rather vaguely, the question of exactly why Nina ripped that page out of this particular book went TOTALLY unanswered. The closest thing to an explanation that I can imagine is that removing that single page might have somehow weakened the magical power of the book/relic in such a way that the Sorcerers would have a better chance at defeating the Forgotten's plans to use the relics to break the Hollow Out of Time. However, since those plans were thwarted by Newton's actions before they could even really get started, it seems that Nina's removal of that page may have been a wasted effort.
The key that Merlin gave to Nina shortly before he was killed by the Forgotten turned out to be the key to the padlock on the door of the cell in the Hollow Out of Time. So where did Nina get the key to the padlock on this book? Either the same key worked with both padlocks or at some point Merlin gave Nina a second key. I have no idea which explanation is the correct one.
When this book first appeared (in DSatSS#3) it had four X-shaped stiches seemingly holding the human heart on its front cover together. However, when it was next seen (in DSatSS#4) there were only three of those X-shaped stitches on the front cover. An artistic error? Or did something happen between issues that caused one of those stitches to be removed?
Profile by Donald Campbell.
This (unidentified) book has no known connections to
The various magical artifacts that the Forgotten had gathered together in preparation for its attempt to "break" the Hollow Out of Time. There were at least thirty-four "relics" present when the Forgotten displayed them for its captive audience and the only two of them that were ever actually named were the Light of Darkness amulet and the Shield of Endless Misery.
Although it has been claimed that the Word of God tome was one of these relics, this does not seem to have been the case. Of the three books shown to have been among the relics, only the subject of this profile can be identified. The fact that Sir Isaac Newton had to cut the Word of God tome out of the body of one of the magicians whom he had freed from the Forgotten suggests that that book had probably been within that magician's body since before he and the others had fused together into the entity that called itself the Forgotten.
Among the other unidentified relics were:
• A door knob (with the plate to which it was attached)
• A white or silvery item that looked like some sort of throwing weapon.
• A golden item (possibly an idol) with a large eye on it.
• An open book with a pale green bookmark ribbon that seemed to be bound to it.
• A shillelagh (or club)
• A red blob
• A dark grey statue of a robed figure.
• A light grey sphere with multiple circles on it surface, one of which had a pale green light at its center.
• A white or silvery wheel with six spokes.
• Several long bones (which may have been human).
• A knife.
• A pale yellow drinking glass with a rounded bowl, a stem and a base.
• A pale yellow teapot (or possibly a pale yellow Arabian oil lamp).
• A white cylinder (possibly an unlit candle).
• A dagger with a yellow hilt.
• A bat.
• A three-armed candelabra (with white candles in place).
• A pale yellow bowl with at least eight circular designs around its exterior.
• A five-armed starfish.
• A sea shell.
• A book with a blue cover.
• A silver band with writing inscribed on the outside.
• A pale yellow metal chalice decorated with jewels on its exterior.
• A dagger with a leather-wrapped hilt and writing inscribed along its blade.
• A staff with a pale blue oval jewel set in one end above a small crossbar.
• A pale yellow mask/helmet with two bull horns attached.
• A golden disk.
• and various other items that I can't properly describe.
Note: Any descriptions of these relics that are better than those listed above would be welcome. Really.
--Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#4
images: (without ads)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#3, page 11, panel 2 (main image)
page 11, panels 3-4 (key opening book's padlock)
page 11, panel 5 (Conjuror with the open book)
page 11, panel 6 (Mindful watching Conjuror with book)
page 18, panel 2 (book in the Forgotten's hand)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#4, pages 8-9, panel 8 (book with 7 other relics)
pages 8-9, panel 1 (most of the relics)
pages 8-9, panel 9 (3 other relics)
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme#3-4 (February - March, 2017) - Robbie Thompson (writer), Javier Rodriguez (penciler), Álvaro López (inker), Nick Lowe (editor)
First Posted: 06/02/2019
Last updated: 06/02/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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