montesi-marcello-kamar-tajMARCELLO MONTESI

Real Name: Marcello Montesi

Identity/Class: Human;
    Papal States citizenship (pre-Vatican);
    14th and 15th century (specifically 1350-1459) AD

Occupation: Custodian of the Darkhold;
    rank of Monsignore within the Roman Catholic Church

Group Membership: Roman Catholic Church;
    Montesi family;

Affiliations: Nine Wise Men of Kamar-Taj; various within the Roman Catholic Church;
    worshipped the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God
 

EnemiesChthon and his agents, Kaluu, Varnae and his army of vampires

Known Relatives: Paolo Montesi (grandfather, deceased), "Raffaela" Montesi (paternal grandmother, deceased; see comments), Giacomo Montesi (father, deceased), Luciano Montesi (descendant, presumably deceased), Giuseppe Montesi (descendant, deceased), Vittorio Montesi (descendant), Victoria Montesi (adoptive descendant); unidentified son (last name almost certainly Montesi, presumably deceased); presumptive unidentified wife (last name also most likely Montesi); various unidentified daughters-in-law, granddaughters-in-law, etc. 

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: The Vatican, Rome

First Appearance: Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#13/2 (January, 1990)

Powers/Abilities: Marcello had extensive knowledge of the theology and the Catholic church, as well as vast occult knowledge. However, he failed to appreciate that Christian religious symbols would not be effective against Varnae.

    His strong religious faith allowed him to read the Darkhold without being corrupted by it. 

    Marcello's lifespan was elongated by his proximity to the Darkhold.montesi-marcello-darkhold-shadowed

Height: Approximately 5'9"
Weight: Approximately 160 lbs. (closer to 180 lbs. in youth)
Eyes: Dark (presumably brown)
Hair: White; male pattern baldness (presumably darker in youth)

History:
(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#13/2) – Marcello Montesi was the son of Giacomo Montesi and was likely born circa 1350 AD. He reestablished contact with Kamar Taj after the death of his father, Giacomo, towards the beginning of the 15th century (circa 1410; see comments) in order to find the missing sections of the Darkhold that he thought might contain the incantation to destroy all vampires.
montesi-marcello-darkhold-death

    Marcello's efforts were temporarily thwarted Kaluu of Kamar Taj who was secretly acting on behalf of Varnae. However, a  young mystic later known as the Ancient One defeated and banished Kaluu, and contact between Kamar Taj and the Vatican resumed. Marcello thus recovered the lost parchments from the Darkhold, which later became known as the "Montesi Formula."

(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#13/2 - BTS) – After learning of Kaluu’s defeat, Varnae decided to groom a successor, who turned out to be Transylvanian nobleman Dracula.

(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#13/2) – Marcello believed himself safe in the Vatican, armed with his faith, amidst crosses and crucifixes.

    In 1459, the night before Varnae passed on the mantle of Lord of the Vampires to Dracula, he entered the Vatican and murdered Marcello. With the gods whom Varnae had ever feared having perished millennia before and his own vampiric existence having preceded Christianity (and Judaism and Islam), Marcello's faith, crosses, and crucifixes were of ineffective against Varnae. Marcello died screaming.

(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#13/2 - BTS) – As Dracula's final test, Varnae did not tell him of the existence of the Darkhold or of the Church's scheme to annihilate all vampires, choosing to let him learn on his own.

Comments: Created by Jean-Marc Lofficier & Roy Thomas, and David & Dan Day.

    The name of Marcello’s son has, so far, been unrevealed.

    Since we know Dracula died in 1459, this would indicate that Kaluu’s defeat took place a little before that time, circa 1450.

    The text "As the 14th century was born" is in error, since this was the early 1400s and should therefore read "As the 15th century was born..." (A common mistake by Lofficier/Thomas).

    I think it had to be Marcello who bound the Montesi formula into the Darkhold, since Giacomo recognized it as missing, but it was known to exist within the Darkhold a very short time after Marcello’s death, circa 1459. That is why Dracula sent Murgo to steal it.--Snood.
    It would seem that the so-called "Montesi Formula" was actually merely discovered by a Montesi (Marcello) in Kamar-Taj and added back into the Darkhold--Snood.

    Paolo Montesi's wife was not shown on panel, nor was she named as anything other than the mother of his son. However, as Paolo was both a deeply religious man and he had been given dispensation to marry to sire children, this was almost certainly his wife. As not taking a husband's last name was not common at the time, I would think her last name was almost certainly Montesi. Jean-Marc Lofficier confirmed this and he provided the name Raffaela for her. At the time of this profile, however, that information has yet to see print in a Marvel Comic.
    By the same token, Marcello presumably was almost certainly married to a woman who likely took his last name and was the mother of his child (as the Montesi line continued after Marcello's death). However, as this wife wasn't even mentioned, we didn't seek to provide a name for her.

    --Snood

    This profile was completed 5/21/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Jean-Marc Lofficier, with assistance from Snood (text editing) and Loki (digital image supplier).

CLARIFICATIONS:

Marcello Montesi has no known connection to:


images: (without ads)

Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#13/2, page 25, last panel 4 (Marcello with representative of Kamar-Taj);
    pg. 28, panel 4 (shadowed);
        panel 5 (death)


Appearances:
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#13/2 (January, 1990) - Roy Thomas, Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier (writers), David & Dan Day (artists), Ralph Macchio (editor)


First posted: 09/22/2021
Last updated: 03/06/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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