Real Name: Johnny Frames
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Ancient One (Yao), Clea, Dr. Stephen Strange, Wong;
Enemies: Ebora, N'Gabthoth, Serpent Men of Starkesboro;
Known Relatives: None;
Deborah was his former fiancee
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
at least briefly active in Starkesboro, Massachusetts
First Appearance: Marvel Premiere#6 (January, 1973)
Powers/Abilities: Johnny Frames did not possess any superhuman abilities, but he had the courage, strength, and fighting skills to engage an overwhelming number of semi-human foes.
Height: Unrevealed (he looked a little taller than the 5'8" Wong, so perhaps 5'10")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 160-180 lbs.)
(Marvel Premiere#6 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Johnny Frames became engaged to marry Deborah from Starkesboro.
(Marvel Premiere#6 (fb) - BTS) - Later, Deborah, under the influence of Sligguth, etc., decided to return to Starkesboro. Johnny begged her not to come back to that "wicked town," but she insisted; Johnny correctly felt that she seemed to be in the grip of some fiendish spell.
(Marvel Premiere#6) - Johnny Frames rushed the car of Clea and Wong as they reached Starkesboro, begging their aid to free the girl he loved. He told them of Deborah, and he noted that now that they had him in their power, they would never let her go: She would be changed in appearance as all are who live in Starkesboro; he further feared that it was useless.
As Clea tried to reassure Johnny, he noted the approach of a crowd of townspeople (whom Johnny referred to as the "Troglodytes of Starksboro"). As Ebora urged the townspeople to take the trio for the sacrifice, Johnny and Wong physically fought their attackers, and Johnny punched down at least one of them. However, the club-wielding soon townspeople struck him both men in the back of the head, knocking them out. Weakened by the town's evil aura, Clea was easily restrained.
Led by Ebora, the townspeople brought their captives up the sacred cliff to N'Gabthoth's roost and then manacled them to the altar. Ebora then called to N'Gabthoth, and Strange, hearing the chanting atop the seaside cliff, flew there and saw his allies (and Johnny, whom he knew not) chained to the altar. As N'Gabtoth approached, Johnny watched in horror before shouting that they must get free or that thing would eat them alive; but they could not break the mystic chains. The aura-weakened Strange confronted N'Gabthoth, but was overpowered; choosing to sacrifice himself to save his allies, Strange invoked the Demons of Denak to shatter the chains and free the captives.
Ebora ordered her servants to recapture the intended sacrifices, but as Johnny urged that they had to do this themselves, as the "that guy in the cape...<was> probably dead now," he Wong and Clea fought the serpentine people with renewed fury.
Dr. Strange's mentor, the Ancient One (Yao)'s astral self then merged with Strange, shielding him from the town's aura and allowing Strange to turn N'Gabthoth's magic against him, and ultimately destroy him.
(Marvel Premiere#6 (fb) - BTS) - At some point after Strange's first driving off N'Gabthoth, and perhaps not until after Strange's apparently killing N'Gabthoth, the people of Starkesboro (including Deborah) fled back into the dark hills.
(Marvel Premiere#6 - BTS) - With N'Gabthoth's death, Starkesboro's evil aura lessened, and Strange swiftly regained his strength.
(Marvel Premiere#6) - Johnny considered that his Deborah had fled back into the dark hills with the rest of the and was forever one of them.
However, he then considered that his sorrows (or the sorrows of any one person) were nothing compared to the anguish of Dr. Strange, who seemed to bear the weight of all the Earth on his shoulders.
(Marvel Premiere#6 - BTS) - Johnny was silent as Strange discovered -- from a chest he had taken from N'Gabthoth -- a map showing Stonehenge, sensed dire perils and specifically the threat of Shuma-Gorath, and resolved that they must travel to England.
Comments: Created by Gardner F. Fox, Frank Brunner, and Sal Buscema.
I don't think Johnny Frames was from Starkesboro, but he at least knew it as a wicked town. If he were from Starkesboro, even if from a diluted bloodline, he would have fallen under the serpent people's influence...as happened with Ethan Stoddard...and Bethel Doan...and Deborah.
Johnny Frames was nowhere to be seen by the start of Marvel Premiere#7, which seemed to immediately follow, if not overlap with the last panels of Marvel Premiere#6.
Somewhat oddly, Johnny Frames had a very similar back-story to Ethan Stoddard, with his fiancee, having been drawn back into Starkesboro...an editorial note even referenced the similarities.
Johnny Frames' experience with the occult makes him a candidate for the Legion of Night.
Johnny Frames originally had a sub-profile under the Serpent Men of Starkesboro, 02/15/2022, almost 20 years before this profile. As I re-reviewed the stories, I was only going to profile Ethan Stoddard, but then I considered that Johnny had a sub-profile under the Serpent Men of Starkesboro when he wasn't one of the serpent people...and he likely wasn't even from Starkesboro.
Profile by Snood.
Johnny Frames should be distinguished from:
At some point, Deborah left Starkesboro, and at some point, she became engaged to marry Johnny Frames.
Later, Deborah, under the influence of Sligguth, etc., decided to return to Starkesboro. Johnny begged her not to come back to that "wicked town," but she insisted; Johnny correctly felt that she seemed to be in the grip of some fiendish spell.
Deborah presumably fell in with the other serpentine townspeople under the influence of Sligguth and Ebora, and later N'Gabthoth. She apparently fled back into the dark hills with the rest of the people of Starkesboro after NGabthoth's apparent demise.
-- Marvel Premiere#6
Deborah may or may not have been associated with the group of serpent people who captured Johnny, but I'd think Johnny would have called out to her.
Marvel Premiere#6 (January, 1973) - Gardner F. Fox (writer), Frank Brunner (pencils), Sal Buscema (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
First posted: 02/01/2022
Last updated: 02/01/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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