Classification: Mystical Tome

Creator: Thoth

User/Possessors: Harry Everett Barclay, Baronet Lohrville, Amadeus Cho, Vali Halfling, Setne Khamwas, Charles Lafoux, Neferkaptah, Spawn of the Witch Queen, Thoth, Thoth's priesthood, the Witch Queen

First Appearance: (Historically) A papyrus fragment from 235 BC; (Marvel) Captain America Comics#20 (November, 1942)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Book of Thoth contains both magical spells and arcane knowledge of the gods of Egypt. The book has the power to render hieroglyphs understandable by those who do not know how to read them. It can install immortality, raise the dead, summon, communicate, and control nature (plants and animals), create illusions, summon obscuring smoky vapors that can induce sleep and create portals between the Earth and Duat, the Egyptian underworld. The book(s) possess many other powers and abilities that remain unrevealed.

(Historical) - The Book of Thoth is one of many ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts alleged to have been written by Thoth, the Egyptian god of writing and knowledge.

(Historical) - During the Ptolemaic era Egyptian historians claimed that Thoth wrote 36,525 books with forty-two books used by Egyptian priests that held the vast knowledge of the Egyptian gods regarding history, laws, customs, and rituals. The rest of these sacred tomes held arcane knowledge and spells dealing with the mysteries of life and death and Duat, the Egyptian underworld.

(Amazing Mysteries#33/2 - BTS) - The Book of Thoth was used in the ancient past by the Witch Queen and her Cult of Black Magic to cast spells that preserved her dead body from decaying and appearing forever youthful. A papyrus page taken from the Book of Thoth was placed in the arms of the Witch Queen as her body lay inside her tomb that contained a spell that could at some future date summon her spirit to reanimate her lifeless one.

(Historical Prose) - In the past one of the Books of Thoth was hidden within a tomb and guarded by Serpents. Prince Neferkaptah broke into the tomb, killed the serpents, and stole the book of Thoth and for his crime his wife and child were killed by the gods. With great sadness, Neferkaptah took his own life and his body along with the Book of Thoth were laid to rest within his tomb. Generations later the Book of Thoth was stolen from his tomb by prince Setne Khamwas who was magically influenced to murder his own wife and child by the spirit of Neferkaptah and make the young prince seem foolish in the eyes of the Pharaoh. He later took their bodies and sealed them within Neferkaptah's tomb with the stolen Book of Thoth.

(Captain America Comics#20 - BTS) - Spells from the Book of Thoth returned the Witch Queen's son's mummified body to life where he was then found and adopted by explorer Gerald Thornton and brought back to England to be raised.

(Vampire Tales#3/4) - A translated copy lay within the cellar of newly purchased summer home of Harry Everett Barclay in 1925. This English manor belonged to the late Baronet Lohrville and was believed to be haunted by ghostly apparitions of beautiful females said to have mysteriously disappeared and presumed murdered at the hands of the estate's previous owner. Investigating the stories of his home's hauntings Harry Barclay found the Book of Thoth in the manor's cellars. Harry Barclay learning these ghostly apparitions were Egyptian vampires called lamais, used the Book of Thoth to summon them so he could destroy them. Forgetting to cast a protective circle around himself Harry Barclay was attacked by the lamais and the late Baronet Lohrville and was turned into a vampire.

(Captain America Comics#20) - Growing to adulthood Lawrence Thornton returned to Egypt during World War II in 1942 under the assumed name of Captain Tarleton. Calling himself the Spawn of the Witch Queen he located a copy of the Book of Thoth and reformed his mother's Cult of Black Magic and used the Book of Thoth to sacrifice soldiers and explorers that encamped nearby to cast ritual spells that would raise his mother the Witch Queen from the dead. This edition of the book was destroyed when Captain America placed it inside a lit brazier and turned it to ashes.

(Amazing Mysteries#33/2) - When the Witch Queen's tomb was breached by archeologist Charles Lafoux, who found her lifeless unageing body, he read a magical papyrus scroll taken from the Book of Thoth that lay in her arms that summoned her spirit and returned the Witch Queen to life.

(Heroic Age: Prince of Power#1-4) - Loki's son Vali Halfling sought the Book of Thoth to fully bestow godhood upon himself. He tricked Amadeus Cho into travelling to the Duat, the Egyptian Underworld, to Neferkaptah's duplicate tomb to retrieve the Book of Thoth to aid in locating Hercules who was thought dead. Amadeus Cho and Thor battled the savage god Sekhmet, the Lady of Slaughter, sent by Ra to prevent them from entering Neferkaptah's tomb. After Sekhmet's defeat (via slipping her a magical liquid roofie that transformed her into her alternate form of the goddess of love Hathor) they entered the tomb dispelling protective magics placed on the Earth's duplicate in Egypt. This allowed Vali Halfling to access and steal the real Book of Thoth from Neferkaptah's tomb. The Book was later reclaimed by Amadeus Cho after defeating Vali with the aid of Thor and Cho's gorgon girlfriend Delphyne. Amadeus Cho used the Book of Thoth along with other godly items, to locate a weakened mortal Hercules and bestowed the powers of godhood to him.

Comments: Created by unidentified writer, Al Avison & Syd Shores.

The Book of Thoth was first referenced on a Ptolemaic era (235 BC) papyrus fragment and was written as a fictional account of Prince Neferkaptah as a warning to others the perils of man meddling with the knowledge of the gods and their fate when trying to do so.

A version of The Book of Thoth appeared in DC comics More Fun Comics #58 (1940) and was used by an evil wizard to control a small forest of animals and trees to battle Dr. Fate. The wizard died during the conflict when he plunged to his doom while battling Dr. Fate in the sky. The Book of Thoth was soon after taken by Dr. Fate and burned to ashes.

The Book of Thoth was also referenced in the H.P Lovecraft short story Through the Gates of the Silver Key (Weird Tales 1932) and is relevant here due to several of his Cthulhu Mythos stories having appeared in comic form by Marvel. The Vampire Tales appearance was based on a short story by August Derleth who wrote several Cthulhu inspired prose.

Profile by AvatarWarlord.

The Book of Thoth has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Captain America Comics#20/1, p13, pan5 (main image of the Book of Thoth)
Vampire Tales#3/4, p52, pan2 (Book of Thoth vampire Tales)
Amazing Mysteries#33/2, p13, pan7 (Witch Queen's copy)
Heroic Age: Prince of Power#3, p1, pan4 (Book of Thoth scroll)

Captain America Comics#20/1 (November, 1942) - uncredited writer, Al Avison (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Amazing Mysteries#33/2 (July, 1949) - uncredited writer and artists, Stan Lee (editor)
Vampire Tales#3/4 (February, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Vicente Ibañez (pencils & inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Heroic Age: Prince of Power#1-4 (July-October, 2010) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Reilly Brown & Zach Howard (Pencils), Terry Pallot & Zach Howard (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)

First Posted: 07/01/2021
Last updated: 07/01/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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