Classification: Magical item (presumably, see comments)

Creator: The Yin

User/Possessors: (Temporarily) Inhuman Royal Family (Black Bolt/Blackagar Boltagon, Gorgon, Karnak, Medusa/Medusalith Amaquelin, Triton), (temporarily) Mandarin

First Appearance: Amazing Adventures II#3/1 (November, 1970)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: A basketball-sized semi-transparent sphere of unspecified material, the Eye of Yin contained some form of "cosmic energy" that was a source of great power.

The Mandarin absorbed the Eye's energy into his rings and briefly augmented their power -- afterward, he claimed his rings would be able to set oceans afire, to create tornadoes that would destroy great cities, and to even shatter Earth's moon; however, he was defeated before these enhanced capabilities were actually proven.

(Iron Man I#57 (fb) - BTS) - In ancient times, a group of Chinese sorcerers called the Yin learned their magical skills from a race of beings whom they considered to be demons -- these "demons" were supposedly Kakarantharans, extraterrestrial visitors from Maklu-IV (see comments).

(Amazing Adventures II#3/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Yin built a subterranean temple somewhere in the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet (...near what would one day be the location of Attilan, the Great Refuge of the Inhumans); they also created a source of great power -- the Eye of Yin -- which they placed within the head of an idol inside their temple.

   At some point in the recent past, an elderly Chinese scholar known as the "Ancient One" learned of the Yin during his studies -- the historical records of the Inhumans also contained vague references of the Yin (as per Medusa).

   In modern times, the Mandarin employed the "Ancient One" to find the location of the Eye of Yin for him. Seeking to use the Eye to increase the power of his own rings, the Mandarin sent a group of his lackeys (accompanied by a robot lookalike of himself) to the Himalayas, where they dug for the Yin's hidden temple.

(Amazing Adventures II#3/1) - But the Inhumans intervened and drove the trespassers away; the silent Black Bolt's curiosity was aroused, so he began to to use his own power to continue tunneling downward.

   Meanwhile, at his fortress in China, the Mandarin had observed these events on a viewing screen -- he was pleased, for he had successfully manipulated the Inhumans into being his unwitting pawns, for they were now unknowingly digging to uncover the Eye for him.

(Amazing Adventures II#3/1 - BTS) - While the Inhumans worked at the excavation, the Mandarin took the "Ancient One" aboard his aircraft, and they flew to the site of the Yin shrine.

(Amazing Adventures II#3/1) - The five Inhumans finally broke through and discovered the entrance to the catacombs of the temple. While exploring the subterranean labyrinth, they came upon the bizarre idol; as Black Bolt flew up to its head, the statue's single eye slowly opened and revealed...the Eye of Yin!

(Amazing Adventures II#4/1) - As the sphere that was the idol's eye crackled with energy, Black Bolt snatched it from its place, then brought the mystic orb to the floor, so that he and his cousins could probe the strange talisman's secrets. But suddenly, the Eye leaped from Black Bolt's hands and flew off into the catacombs. The Inhumans gave chase, but the elusive sphere vanished in the maze of corridors.

   Unknown to the Inhumans, the sphere was following a beam emanating from one of the Mandarin's rings. Using the combined forces of his rings, the Mandarin dissolved the Eye's shell and absorbed its unleashed "cosmic energy" into his rings, thus giving him the "ultimate power". But when the "Ancient One" requested payment for his assistance, the Mandarin "rewarded" the elderly scholar by using the increased power of his rings to banish the old man to another dimension.

   The Inhuman Royal Family finally found the Mandarin, who boasted to them about his enhanced power. But during their brief battle, Black Bolt used his electron-manipulating energy to form a swirling, hypnotic pattern that entranced the villain. The Inhumans stripped the spellbound Mandarin of his ten rings and left them behind on the floor of the Yin temple. After carrying the villain back to the surface, Black Bolt employed his powers again and blasted the entrance tunnel to the hidden temple shut.

(Iron Man I#57 (fb)) - The Inhumans placed the Mandarin in his aircraft and locked it on a course back to his fortress. After recovering from the hypnotic spell and discovering that his rings were gone, the Mandarin fell into a depression, for his dreams of conquest were shattered. But his depression was short-lived, for it soon gave way to a determination to reclaim his rings. Plunging himself in study, the Mandarin read the "Ancient One's" Yin tomes and learned more about the power that he had held so briefly; he began to piece together the history of the sorcerers, and learned of the supposed connection between the Yin and the Makluans (see comments).

   Traveling by foot across miles of trackless waste, the Mandarin made a pilgrimage to the Valley of Dragons and returned to the spaceship of Axon-Karr, where he had originally acquired his ten rings. Aboard the spacecraft, the Mandarin found a headband that linked its wearer to the rings and operated them by remote control; after donning the device, he sent out a mental command that caused the buried rings to loose all the pent up power of the Eye of Yin, thus freeing them from the ruins of the temple and sending them flying back to him. As he placed the rings on his fingers, the Mandarin sensed that the Eye of Yin's power was gone from them forever, although the rings themselves still retained their full original powers.

Comments: Created by Jack Kirby.

Although I have it classified as a magical item, it's also possible that the Eye was actually technology so advanced that it appeared to be magic.

From his study of the Yin tomes, the Mandarin inferred that the "demons" who were the benefactors of the Yin were members of the Kakarantharan/Makluan race (which also includes Fin Fang Foom); but his assumption could be wrong, so it's possible that the "demons" were from some other extraterrestrial race, or maybe even actual demons -- considering the bizarre appearance of the idol where the Eye was kept, perhaps the Yin built it in the form of their benefactors to honor them.

Maybe that abandoned temple near the Great Refuge where First Line member Yeti dwelt for a time (@ X-Men: The Hidden Years#16) was part of a network of tunnels connected to the Yin temple.

Thanks to TJB for pointing out that the Yin were mentioned again during the Hands of the Mandarin crossover in 1994-1995.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

The Eye of Yin has no known connections to:

The Yin have no known connections to:

The "Ancient One" has no known connections to:

The Yin

(Iron Man I#57 (fb) - BTS) - In ancient times, they were a group of Chinese sorcerers who learned their magical skills from a race of beings that they considered to be demons.

(Iron Man I#57 (fb) - BTS) - They built a subterranean temple somewhere in the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet; they also created the Eye of Yin, a sphere containing great power. They kept the Eye concealed inside an idol within the temple.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#169 (fb)) - 350 years ago a member of the Yin, in search for objects of mystical power, discovered the Heart of Darkness, which had crash-landed on Earth 20,000 years ago.

   He took it to his castle, but the sorcerer's body and spirit were eventually destroyed by the Heart of Darkness.

(Iron Man I#57 (fb) - BTS) - Under unrevealed circumstances, the Yin eventually abandoned their temple, and their final fate is unrevealed.

(Comment: The Yin never actually appeared in any of these stories, so this image just represents the Mandarin's imagination of what they looked like.)

--Iron Man I#57 (Iron Man I#57 (fb), Marvel Comics Presents I#169 (fb)

Yin idol

Representing an unidentified multi-armed cyclopean entity, it was located in the catacombs of a subterranean temple built by the Yin somewhere in the Himalayas. Concealed behind the idol's single closed eye was the Eye of Yin, a sphere containing great power.

When the Inhuman Royal Family approached it, the idol's closed eye began to open; subsequently, Black Bolt flew up and snatched the Eye from the idol.

--Amazing Adventures II#3/1 - 4/1

"Ancient One"

He (real name unrevealed) was an elderly Chinese historian who was knowledgeable about lost civilizations; during his studies, he learned of the Eye of Yin, a sphere containing great power.

He assisted the Mandarin in locating the Eye, and the Mandarin used the Eye's energy to enhance the power of his rings.

Afterward, the "Ancient One" requested for the Mandarin to give him the promised reward for his help. But instead, the Mandarin "rewarded" the elderly scholar by firing a beam from his rings that caused the "Ancient One" to vanish in a puff of black smoke, and he was transported to an unspecified dimension.

(Comment: It was the Mandarin only who referred to him as "Ancient One," although he once addressed him as "Old One".)

--Amazing Adventures II#3/1 - 4/1

images: (without ads)
Amazing Adventures II#4/1, p3, pan1 (Eye of Yin flying away; Inhumans (background) in pursuit)
Amazing Adventures II#4/1, p2, pan4 (Black Bolt holding Eye of Yin; Medusa, Triton (background))
Amazing Adventures II#4/1, p4, pan2 (Mandarin captures flying Eye of Yin with his ring; "Ancient One" (background)
Amazing Adventures II#4/1, p4, pan3 (Mandarin dissolves shell of Eye of Yin, releasing energy it contains; "Ancient One" (right))
Iron Man I#57, p11, pan3 (in flashback, Mandarin supposes that benefactors of the Yin were Makluans)
Iron Man I#57, p11, pan1 (in flashback, Mandarin reads Yin tome and visualizes trio of Yin and (presumably) idol)
Amazing Adventures II#3/1, p10, pan3 (idol; Black Bolt, Gorgon, Medusa, Karnak, Triton (foreground))
Amazing Adventures II#3/1, p10, pan5 (idol's eye begins to open; Medusa's hand (foreground))
Amazing Adventures II#3/1, p10, pan6 (idol's eye fully opened, revealing Eye of Yin)
Amazing Adventures II#3/1, p2, pan1 ("Ancient One" speaks with Mandarin (left); viewing screen displaying Inhumans)
Amazing Adventures II#4/1, p5, pan2 ("Ancient One" struck by beam from Mandarin)
Amazing Adventures II#4/1, p5, pan3 ("Ancient One" disappears in puff of smoke)

Amazing Adventures II#3/1 (November, 1970) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Artie Simek (letters), Stan Lee (editor)
Amazing Adventures II#4/1 (January, 1971) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Artie Simek (letters), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#57 (April, 1973) - Steve Gerber (writer), George Tuska /pencils), Mike Esposito/Frank Giacoia (inks), Petra Goldberg (colors), Shelly Leferman (letters), Roy Thomas (editor)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

First Posted: 04/13/2022
Last Updated: 04/24/2022

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