ARCHIMAGO

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments)

Occupation: Stage-magician, would-be conqueror

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Susan Richards, Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Great Archimago, the Wizard

Base of Operations: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Marvel Presents the Fantastic Four Annual (UK) 1980/3 (Winter 1979)

Powers/Abilities: Archimago can control the elements. He generated ice rapidly enough to entomb an audience before they had time to escape, summoned sheets of heavy rain and gale force winds, generated fireballs, fired barrages of earth and soil, and raised mud barriers and tornadoes to block attacks. His abilities seem to be sorcerous and called on via gestures, but Mr. Fantastic suspected there was a technological component to them. Archimago could only do each attack for a brief period of time before needing to stop for a momentary rest and switch to a different element. He drew power from the earth itself, though he can do this via a connecting wire if on stage, and he apparently had to avoid contact with water or he would short out like a faulty electrical circuit.

Height: 6' (by estimation) (see comments)
Weight: 160 lbs. (by estimation)
Eyes: Green
Hair: Black

History:
(
Marvel Presents the Fantastic Four Annual (UK) 1980/3 (fb) - BTS) - Archimago was a stage-magician who claimed to have found the secrets of ancient Egyptian sorcerers, thus learning true magic, allowing him to control the four elements, earth, air, fire and water; however, his powers may have had some technological component (see comments), as he drew power from the ground, needing to maintain contact either directly or via metal wiring. For his American debut., he announced a free performance in Central Park, starting at 2pm. However, for unrevealed reasons (see comments), Archimago turned on the audience and entombed them within a dome of ice several feet thick.

(Marvel Presents the Fantastic Four Annual (UK) 1980/3) - Arriving late having intended to watch the show, the Fantastic Four saw what Archimago was doing and the Human Torch flew down from the Fantasticar to rapidly melt the ice, freeing the people trapped within. Having been too focused on generating the ice to notice the Torch's intervention until the shouts of the freed crowd alerted him, Archimago turned his attention to the interloper and summoned a rainstorm to douse the hero's flames, causing him to drop from the skies. Only winded by the fall, the Torch was joined by the Thing, who tried to rush the magician. In response Archimago called forth gale force winds strong enough to lift the Thing off his feet and throw him back. As the Thing wondered aloud how Archimago was doing all this, the remaining two members of the Four, Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Girl, arrived. Hearing Mr. Fantastic describing him as a master of the elements, Archimago agreed, then added that he was master of more than, proclaiming himself master of the world, since the world would hear of him once he crushed them. He quickly disconnected from his belt a cable that trailed down off the stage to the ground, then jumped down and began walking confidently towards the quartet, raised his hands in the air, and produced a fireball that hurled towards them. However, to Archimago's annoyance the Human Torch stepped in front of his teammates and simply absorbed the flames, restoring the dampened hero's powers. As Archimago continued to advance, Mr. Fantastic noted that he carefully avoided stepping in any of the streams of water left by the melting ice dome, but before he could muse on this Archimago gestured at the ground, causing it to throw up soil, stone and debris that then flung themselves at the Four. While Invisible Girl protected the others with a force field and the Human Torch threw firebolts at the wizard to keep Archimago's attention focused on him, Mr. Fantastic braved the barrage to run forward and examine the abandoned cable, confirming it was merely wire and spotting that wherever Archimago's feet had contacted the ground it had been left burn marks. Realizing that Archimago was drawing his power from the earth itself, Mr. Fantastic informed his teammates that they needed to somehow raise the magician into the air.

   Spotting that Archimago also needed to rest for a few seconds between attacks, the team took advantage of the next respite to go on the offensive. Though able to block some of their attacks Archimago recognized that their numbers gave them an advantage and tried to withdraw, but was prevented from doing so by Invisible Girl's force fields, and when the Human Torch made him jump up to avoid a flame attack, the Invisible Girl placed a force field under him, denying him contact with the ground. As she extended the field to form a bubble fully encasing Archimago he summoned what energies he still had to try to break free, but before he could do so Mr. Fantastic looped himself around a couple of trees to form a giant catapult which the Thing then pulled back. Invisible Girl swiftly placed the bubble containing Archimago in the center of this, and the Thing let go, firing Archimago into the sky. The heroes watched as Archimago flew out over the Hudson River and into the Atlantic, finally splashing down a mile or so out to sea, his impact with the water marked by a bright flash of light as he shorted out, leaving the heroes unsure whether or not the magician had survived (see comments).

Comments: Creators unknown. Sadly the U.K. annuals don't include credits for writers, artists or anyone else for that matter. Like most UK Annuals, it would have been released a few months before the end of the year, in time to be bought for Christmas. Typically annuals which had the year printed on their cover were actually released the year before, so that children receiving them as presents on Christmas Day would not think they were getting an out-of-date product. However a lot of British Marvel annuals of the late seventies / early eighties didn't carry a date on the cover, and the date given in the copyright section of the indicia is often wrongly used for the year distinguisher - so if you are looking to buy the annual, be aware that online listings might be mixing up the years. The one you want has a Bob Budiansky/Joe Sinnott cover (you can see their signatures) with the Fantastic Four flying in the Fantasticar.

   During the 1960s and early 1970s, U.S. Marvel stories were largely reprinted in comics belonging to either Alan Class Comics or Odhams, and the latter also usually handled any reprints in annuals. That changed in the 1970s, around the time Marvel took things in-house and established Marvel UK. However, despite the existence of Marvel UK, the UK annuals were generally published via one of a number of established companies that specialized in publishing the hardcover annuals for the Christmas market, and who got the rights to do so could change from one year to the next. This particular annual was published by Marvel Comics Group "in association with" Grandreams. Up until the late 1970s these were purely reprints with no new fiction, but right at the end of the decade and into the start of the 80s, just as Marvel UK began producing its own stories in the weekly comics, the annuals started carrying text stories sprinkled with a handful of illustrations.

   We're told that the event the FF attend is his American debut, so he's apparently from somewhere else in the world, but we're given no clue as to where. We're not told why he suddenly decided to conquer the world; if he'd been planning to do so for a while, freezing a crowd in Central Park seems a strange way to start, so maybe he genuinely did intend just to hold a performance until someone in the crowd annoyed him, and things just escalated from there?

   Similarly, we're left uncertain as to the source of his powers; when they see him short out upon landing in the ocean, the Thing wonders if Archimago's powers were really magic or from some kind of electrical gizmo. It's worth noting that the team are uncharacteristically uncaring about Archimago's fate. Sure, he did attack his audience and them, but that's not something that normally warrants a death sentence, yet not only do the Four throw the man out into the sea, when they see him land a mile out into the ocean they make no attempt to rescue him. The Torch wonders if he survived, but Mr. Fantastic's response shows that is more about wondering whether they'll have to face him again one day, not a "oh, oops, I wonder if we've accidentally sent him to his death?"

   He doesn't actually call himself the Wizard at any point, but since the story's title is "Where Walks the Wizard" I felt it should probably be included in his aliases.

   We're not shown Archimago standing near anyone whose height has been established, so his height as a guesstimate based on the fact that he appears to be drawn as tall and thin.

   This profile was completed 09/28/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.

Profile by Loki.

 CLARIFICATIONS:
Archimago has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Marvel Presents the Fantastic Four Annual (UK) 1980/3, p33, pan1 (main image)
Marvel Presents the Fantastic Four Annual (UK) 1980/3, p35, pan1 (conjuring winds)
Marvel Presents the Fantastic Four Annual (UK) 1980/3, p38, pan1 (being catapulted out of Manhattan)


Appearances:
Marvel Presents the Fantastic Four Annual (UK) 1980/3 (Winter 1979) - credits unknown


First Posted: 09/29/2021
Last updated: 09/28/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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