starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-arrivalstarkesboro-massachusetts-mp6-wongcleaarriveSTARKESBORO

Official Name: Starkesboro

Location: An "out-of-the-way" small town north of the Quabbin Reservoir, Massachusetts (see comments), United States of America

Population: 15,201 at last reference

Residents: Mayor Seward and numerous former members of the Moonchildren (GaryJohn, Mike), Night Patrol (Dougie), and/or Pit-Wolves;
    formerly Bethel Doan, Dredmund Druid (Dredmund Cromwell), EboraLemuel Joad, Zachary Moonhunter, Nightshade (Tilda Johnson), the Serpentine People of Starkesboro, SligguthSlorioth, Caleb Starke, Ethan Stoddard, Ethan Stoddard's parents (his father was a resident, while his mother was from outside Starkesboro but presumably came to live there as Ethan was raised there); Deborah (fiancee of Johnny Frames); unidentified hotel owner/manager; unidentified librarian
    
N'Gabthoth slumbered in a cavern beneath the sea under Starkesboro before traveling to the city in recent years;
    I don't think
Johnny Frames was from Starkesboro, or he would have otherwise fallen under the influence of Sligguth, N'Gabthoth, and/or Shuma-Gorath rather than just being captured

Visitors: Ancient One (Yao; astral form), Cable (Nathan Summers/Nathan Dayspring Askani'son), Cadaver (Cody Fleischer), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain America's Infinity War / Dimension of Manifestations doppelganger, Clea, Dagger (Tilda Johnson), Deathlok (Michael Collins), Doctor Druid (Anthony Ludgate Druid), Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange), Drax the Destroyer (Arthur Douglas), Feral (Maria Callasantos), Ferocia (Fera), John Jameson, Joshua Pryce, Sepulchre/Shadowoman (Jillian Woods), Sidrat-Al-Muntah (aka "Al"), Werewolf (Jack Russell), Wolf (from Team America), Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair), Wolverine (James Howlett/Logan), Wong; temporally displaced versions of Hulk (Bruce Banner), Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd);
    unidentified beings who imprisoned Slorioth there 13,000 B.C.);
    while 
Shuma-Gorath was not present in Starkesboro, his presence was felt, and Sligguth and N'Gabthoth apparently served his will;
    presumably Johnny Frames;

Government: Governed by a mayor;
    formerly under the sway of Dredmund Druid, Sligguth,
N'Gabthoth, and/or Shuma-Gorath

Significant locations: House of Wyldwind, N'Gabthoth's cavern, N'Gabthoth's roost, Sligguth's lair and the labyrinth between it and the desecrated church; unidentified church and its vestry, town hotel & library;
    formerly Nightshade's laboratory;
    presumably formerly a desecrated church and the Wolf Pit;
    briefly Slorioth's tabernacle;

Properties: A coastal town, its atmosphere is permeated with dark mystical energies

While under the influence of Sligguth and N'Gabthoth, the whole town of Starkesboro gave off such an aura of demonic magic that in and of itself it was almost enough to overcome Dr. Strange, both physically weakening him and draining his magic. When the aura was blocked or eliminated, his magical powers rapidly recovered.

First Appearance Marvel Premiere#4 (September, 1972)

History:
(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb) - BTS) - "Countless eons ago," N'Gabthoth took up residence and slumbered in an undersea cavern at the bottom of the ocean outside what would become Starkesboro.

(Secret Defenders#23 (fb) - BTS) <13,000 B.C.> - Slorioth ravished the Earthly plane until a cabal of ancient sorcerers defeated him and bound him, body and soul, to the land beneath what would become Starkesboro.
    Over time, the enchantments restricting Slorioth's movements would grow fatigued, and Slorioth's presence would permeate the town's ether.starkesboro-massachusetts-marvprem5-find-cross

(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Sligguth took up residence in an undersea cavern on the edge of the land that would become Starkesboro.

(Marvel Premiere#4 (fb) - BTS) - Per Strange's speculation, some of the Elderspawn Sligguth's Serpent Men offspring survived by inter-breeding with humanity, producing hybrids and existing in cloistered colonies. 

(Marvel Premiere#4 (fb) - BTS) <1670> An obscure religious sect...

(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb) - BTS) - ...composed mostly of fisherfolk...

(Marvel Premiere#4 (fb) - BTS) - ...emigrated from England to America to escape religious persecution. Led by Caleb Starke, they formed the town of Starkesboro in New England, and they remained isolated, clannish, and withdrawn, with nearly all residents of the town being descended from the founders.

(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb)) - One moonlit night, a group of Starkesboro fisherfolk discovered a serpent-twined inverted cross (although I'm not sure how they knew it was an inverted cross since it was just floating in water; maybe there was writing on it...or a "this side up") floating up from the deep waters. They wondered of its nature, its meaning, and who could have placed it there and why.

(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb) - BTS) -  Thereafter, the people of Starkesboro fell under the influence of Sligguth, and their features changed, becoming more reptilian.

(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb)) - As they worshipped and called on him, Sligguth, visited them and selected a a dark priestess, Ebora, and called on her to do his will. In return, she remained fully human.

(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb) - BTS) - They desecrated the Starkesboro church, placed the serpent-twined inverted cross therein, and added an altar...

(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb) - BTS) - ...on which they offer sacrifices to Sligguth and chanted their accursed rhythms.

(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb) - BTS) - Sligguth's undersea cavern was connected via a labyrinth to Starkesboro's church.

(Marvel Premiere#4 (fb) - BTS) - Ethan Stoddard's father married a woman from outside Starkesboro.starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-church&library

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-churchclock(Marvel Premiere#4 (fb) - BTS) - The people of Starkesboro, presumably directed and/or empowered by Sligguth, subliminally directed the half-breed Ethan Stoddard to leave Starkesboro with the ultimate purpose of bringing  Dr. Strange to Starkesboro to be slain by them to prevent him from interfering with the plot of Shuma-Gorath.

(Marvel Premiere#4 (fb) - BTS) - Ethan Stoddard and his fiancee, Bethel Doan, left Starkesboro and went to Salem State College, and later to New York City for graduate studies. 

(Marvel Premiere#6 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Deborah left Starkesboro. 

    At some point, Deborah became engaged to marry Johnny Frames. I don't think Johnny Frames was from Starkesboro, but he at least knew it as a wicked town. 

(Marvel Premiere#4 (fb) - BTS) <2 months before the main story> - Bethel returned to Starkesboro to continue her research. 

(Marvel Premiere#6 (fb) - BTS) - At some point around this same time, Deborah, under the influence of Sligguth, etc., decided to return to Starkesboro.

(Marvel Premiere#4 - BTS) - Ethan Stoddard convinced Dr. Strange to come to Starkesboro to rescue Bethel and investigate the town's dark influence.

(Marvel Premiere#4) - Stoddard and Strange arrived in Starkesboro in the during a thunderstorm at night, and the bus driver urged their departure, after which Ethan noted how is hometown now felt like an alien planet, so desolate and so quiet. Strange was surprised by the sound of church bells on a Saturday night, and he noted that Starkesboro was odd indeed.

    Ethan led Strange to the town's best (and only) hotel, and the manager (and possibly the owner) was surprised, as they didn't get many visitors. Strange asked about Bethel, and the owner told him that while he knew of Doans in town, but that he couldn't place the name of Bethel. .

    From his room, Strange observed the Starkesboro church, and he considered the similar odd cast of features -- something about the eyes and the slope of the forehead -- to all who were departing.

    As midnight struck, Strange released his astral form, and he found that he had to focus his power to force his way past something that seemed to restrain his ectoplasmic form. Communing with his mentor, the Ancient One, on the Astral Plane, Strange learned of vague evil portents from events originating before man walked the Earth, a slumbering cosmic obscenity...and of cults and long lost races. The Ancient One then departed to face some of the forces behind this and sent Strange to face those in Starkesboro.

    The next morning, Strange and Ethan headed to the town library, and en route, they encountered local Lemuel Joad, after which Ethan informed Strange that he had forgotten how the "Starkesboro look" got worse with age.

    Strange then headed to the church while Ethan went into the library. The spell disguising Strange's costume faded as he entered the church, and he sensed something acting against his magic, with the church being its focal point. 

    Within the church, Strange found an altar with iron shackles, deeply stained on the surface, betraying it blasphemous purpose; an inverted cross, the sign of the black mass (see comments); and the mark of Sligguth behind the cross. Seeing the latter, Strange realized how and why an entire atmosphere of utmost evil was working against his powers. He further sensed how the church's dark aura had its heart at a certain door.starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-cover

    Meanwhile, Ethan located Bethel, and he was shocked to see how she had taken on the "Starkesboro look" as well. Ethan fled to the church, and Strange locked the doors to keep out the approaching townspeople, but Stoddard soon fell under the influence of Sligguth, etc., after which Strange was overwhelmed by the town's aura and captured. 

(Marvel Premiere#5) - Alongside his dark priestess, Ebora, Sligguth confronted the chained Strange, but (apparently remotely aided by the Ancient One) Strange broke free and invoked spells from mystic principalities to cause Sligguth to flee back into his labyrinth. Similarly driving off the serpentine townspeople, Strange followed Sligguth into the labyrinth. 

    Using a black candle to light his way, Strange was soon after assaulted by large bats who bit and swarmed over him. Using his candle to set aflame the numerous dried spider-webs, Strange drove off the bats and then continued down the hand-hewn stone steps. The candle flames alerted Strange to a trap door over a pit filled with vipers and other creatures, allowing him to bypass it.

(Marvel Premiere#5 - BTS) - Meanwhile, the Ancient One was carried off by the Shadowmen of sunken Kaa-U, interrupting his aid of Strange. Additionally, sensing the danger to Strange and the Ancient One, Clea -- via the Orb of Agamotto -- confirmed the nature of the threats to her allies, and she then led Wong to join her in traveling to Starkesboro.

(Marvel Premiere#5) - His eyes stung and his lungs strained by noxious, fetid mists exuding from the cavern's stone, Strange encountered Sligguth anew in Sligguth's lair, located in a cavern beneath the sea. The Vishanti temporarily suspended the town's evil aura, allowing Strange to drive off Sligguth. Ebora sensed this and she called upon sea-things and ghouls to cause the seas to shatter the stone into Sligguth's lair. 

(Marvel Premiere#6) - Strange drove off Ebora and then apparently slew Sligguth, after which N'Gabthoth, the Shambler from the Sea, awakened and headed to the surface. 

    Meanwhile, as Clea and Wong arrived in Starkesboro by car, they both sensed the town's evil aura (which weakened Clea as well), at which point they encountered Johnny Frames. All three were captured by the serpentine townspeople led by Ebora, who had them brought up the sacred cliff to N'Gabthoth's roost and then manacled them to the altar. Strange freed the captives, who fought the townspeople, after which Strange (aided again by the Ancient One), drove off and apparently slew N'Gabthoth. 

(Marvel Premiere#6 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the people of Starkesboro (including Deborah and presumably Ebora, Ethan Stoddard, Bethel Doan, Lemuel Joad) fled back into the dark hills.

(Marvel Premiere#6) - With N'Gabthoth's death, Starkesboro's evil aura lessened, and Strange swiftly regained his strength. 

    Strange discovered -- from a chest that N'Gabthoth had claimed from the church -- a map showing Stonehenge. Sensing dire perils and specifically the threat of Shuma-Gorath, Strange resolved that they must travel to England.

(Marvel Premiere#7) - Strange flew off to travel swiftly to England, while Clea and Wong planned to follow as soon as they could.

(Captain America I#407/1 (fb) - BTS) - Starkesboro remained economically depressed for a decade (see comments).

(Captain America I#407/1 (fb) - BTS) - Dredmund Cromwell, aka Dredmund Druid, embarked on an ambitious plot to claim the power of the Godstone/Moongem, the stone that transformed John Jameson into Man-Wolf and Star-God.

    He approached Starkesboro's Mayor Seward  with a proposition to improve Starkesboro's economy by making it the site for his weekend seminars on "Getting in Touch With Your Hairy Selves," new therapy for dealing with the stress of modern civilization. starkesboro-massachusetts-cap402-wolfattack

    Dredmund employed the scientist Dr. Nightshade, who had created chemicals that could turn humans into pseudo-werewolves.

(Captain America I#408/1 (fb) - BTS) - Dredmund hired John Jameson to steal the remains of the Moongem from Empire State University. Seeking to reclaim past heroism and believing he could thwart Dredmund's plot, Jameson jumped at the plot, but after Dredmund reconstituted the Godstone in Starkesboro, Jameson reverted to his savage Man-Wolf form and fell under Dredmund's sway.

(Captain America I#407/1 (fb) - BTS) - Dredmund further captured the Werewolf Jack Russell, and Nightshade used his blood to create a new formula to transform people into werewolves. 

(Captain America I#403/1 (fb) - BTS) - Druid made his base in Starkesboro's church, which he adorned with statuary reminiscent of Stonehenge and other Druidic symbols. 

(Captain America I#407/1 (fb) - BTS) - All summer long, Dredmund performed weekend seminars, drawing throngs of people to Starkesboro, and he began to select the best of those for his experiments in lycanthropy (aka the rapture of bestialism). Dredmund made the church in Starkesboro his main base of operations, and placed most of the town's population under his hypnotic control, augmenting his power with the Moongem. Nightshade began transforming the populace into werewolves with her chemicals and using her own pheromone powers to help keep them in line. Finally, Dredmund used the hypnotized Zach Moonhunter as a werewolf wrangler to keep the rebellious residents in line.

(Captain America I#403/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Godstone and/or Dredmund's manipulation of it summoned various feral beings to Starkesboro.

(Captain America I#402/1 - BTS / Captain America I#402/1 (fb) - BTS) - Wolverine traveled toward Starkesboro, investigating the "Werewolf murder" and possibly also drawn by the Godstone.

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap403-sign

(Captain America I#402/1) - A short distance from Starkesboro, one of the wolf-people slew a man (and apparently others over time; there may have been more than one wolf-person doing this) in the woods. Sensing Wolverine's approach, it fled, but Wolverine apparently recognized the wolf scent on the corpse. 

(Captain America I#402/1 - BTS) - Investigating the werewolf killings and seeking the missing John Jameson, Captain America recruited Dr. Druid and traveled to the site of one of the "werewolf killings"

(Captain America I#402/1) - As Moonhunter worked to tame the Pit-Wolves, Dredmund interrupted him, telling him they needed to speak to him regarding "another intruder." The distraction allowed one of the wolf-people to ambush Moonhunter, but he soon fought free and departed the Wolf Pit. He further told them when he came back, he was going to give them something to really howl about, and that they should be "good little doggies" and stop fighting what they had become: "The sooner you get used to it, the sooner you'll be let out of the hole!"
    It is not clear whether Dredmund was referring to Ferocia, Captain America, and Druid, or someone else.

(Captain America I#402/1 - BTS) - As Ferocia attacked Druid and Captain America, Moonhunter appeared on his skycycle and lassoed her by the neck.

(Captain America I#403/1 - BTS) - Moonhunter outmaneuvered Captain America and returned to Starkesboro with Ferocia. 

(Captain America I#403/1) - Nightshade went to Dredmund to inform him that Moonhunter had brought in the extradimensional wolf-woman Ferocia, who was not one of their subjects. Dredmund hypothesized that it was the Godstone which drew her to Starkesboro, and that they should be prepared for more intruders. 
    Dredmund, Moonhunter, and Nightshade's reaction to the revelation of Ferocia as an outsider leads me to believe that she was the first outsider drawn to the city by the recently re-formed Godstone.

    When Wolverine arrived in Starkesboro, the Night Patrol engaged him, and Moonhunter eventually subdued and captured him. 

    As Captain America and Druid entered the town, Druid sensed "a pall of mysticism hanging over the environs like an invisible fog," and considered that the place seemed to be a hothead of arcane activity. They were subsequently surrounded by the Night Patrol.

(Captain America I#405/1 (fb) - BTS) - Nightshade developed a new formula that allowed the wolf-people to retain their wolfen form during daylight, although bright sunlight still hurt their eyes.

(Captain America I#404/1) - Levitating to a safe height, Druid progressively mesmerized the werewolves into not being able to see Cap and himself, and then they he levitated them away from the conflict. After Wolverine's healing factor proved resistant to Nightshade's chemicals, Dredmund used hypnosis to place him in a trance. After Druid and Captain America split up, the entranced Wolverine and Moonhunter captured him. 

(Captain America I#408/1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the cyclist known as Wolf (formerly of Team America/Thunderiders) was drawn to Starkesboro.

(Captain America I#406/1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Wolfsbane was drawn to Starkesboro.

(Captain America I#406/1 (fb)) - Moonhunter captured Wolfsbane as she approached. She was dumped into the pit, where he twice a day whipped her and the other pit-wolves, trying to whack them into line/compliance.

(Captain America I#405/1) - Dredmund watched as Nightshade transformed Captain America into a werewolf with her chemical, but the Captain broke free of his restraints and escaped, avoiding Dredmund's hypnotic glare. Dredmund used hypnosis to transform residents into werewolves during daylight and give chase. Dredmund then returned to his church, where he used his Godstone-enhanced powers to overwhelm and incapacitate Dr. Druid. Cap-Wolf later returned to confront Nightshade but instead fell under her influence. 

(Captain America I#406/1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Feral was drawn to Starkesboro.

(Captain America I#406/1) - Nightshade manipulated Cap-Wolf into entering the Wolf Pit. Defeating the lupine John Jameson (not that either recognized the other), the lupine Captain America earned the allegiance of other imprisoned wolf-people, whom he led to break out of captivity. Capwolf then led the wolf-men army to incapacitate and imprison Moonhunter, capture Nightshade, and free the Jack Russell Werewolf. 

    Dredmund addressed Moonchildren at the church where he prepared to sacrifice Dr. Druid to enable him to fully access the Godstone's power. When Captain America -- also mutated into lupine form by Nightshade but retaining his own will and most of his mind -- arrived to stop him, Druid sent his Moonchildren against Capwolf. They delayed him sufficiently for Dredmund to slit Dr. Druid's throat, coat the Godstone with his blood, and then bond with the Godstone and begin his transformation into Starwolf.

(Captain America I#407/1) - The energies of the Godstone transformed Dredmund into the Starwolf, but Capwolf's efforts were joined by Werewolf, Wolfsbane, Ferocia, and the other freed Pit-Wolves.

    On the town borderline, Cable tranquilized the arriving Feral -- whom he had tracked via a homing transmitter in her uniform -- and then entered Starkesboro to learn what had drawn her there. Finding the church full of wolf-people, Cable began firing on them, leading Capwolf to attack him before Starwolf bound them both in a tapestry before collapsing one of his Stonehenge-like pillars on them.

    The wolfen John Jameson took Dr. Druid to Nightshade's lab and then injected Nightshade with her own werewolf formula before instructing her to find an antidote for the wolf-people. After Moonhunter escaped the Wolf Pit, freed Wolverine, and entered Nightshade's laboratory, Dr. Druid released the escaped Moonhunter and Wolverine from Dredmund's control. Wolverine then freed Capwolf and Cable and joined them against Dredmund. Ultimately, Capwolf tore the Godstone from Dredmund's throat, turning him back into a human, and Cable crushed the Godstone.

(Captain America I#408/1) - Captain America kept Dredmund captive as he forced Nightshade to cure him and all of the other residents of Starkesboro. After Capwolf was treated, he was suddenly assaulted by his Infinity War Captain America doppelganger whom he ultimately destroyed after learning it wasn't a living being (rather a fractal from the Dimension of Manifestations). Dredmund was then placed in the custody of federal Guardsmen and sent to a prison hospital for treatment. After Nightshade was arrested, Cap confronted mayor Seward regarding the "werewolf murders" that first brought Starkesboro to his attention, and Seward assured him that the individuals involved in those terrible incidents all perished in the altercation with the pit-wolves in the church. Cap and the rest of those summoned to Starkesboro then departed; Moonhunter gave Cap and Druid rides home.starkesboro-massachusetts-secdef23-sign

(Secret Defenders#22 / Secret Defenders#23 (fb) / Secret Defenders#24 (fb) - BTS) - Corrupted by the demon Slorioth, Dr. Druid transported his Secret Defenders associates, Cadaver and Sepulchre, to Starkesboro. Needing three uncorrupted allies, Druid mentally implanted within Dagger, Drax the Destroyer, and Deathlok the urge to travel to Starkesboro.

(Secret Defenders#23) - Deathlok arrived in Starkeboro and met with Dagger, Druid, Cadaver, and Sepulchre, after which Druid led them the House of Wyldwind. After Druid noted Slorioth's history and explained that he needed three uncorrupted allies, Drax arrived, completing the trio.

    Claiming to be intending to buttress the walls of Slorioth's prison but first needing the trio's aid to bypass the mystic sealanders that capped the spell, Druid transported the group to an empty glen near the Wyldwind hotel. When a mystic door appeared before them, Drax tore it open, and the trio entered a realm where they were confronted with the darkest, most deeply rooted fears. The trio's overcoming these fears allowed Druid to use the Bride of Slorioth talisman to bring to the surface Slorioth's Tabernacle, which he intended to enter. However, at that point the time-displaced original Defenders (Hulk, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Silver Surfer) arrived -- summoned there by the Cognoscenti's Joshua Pryce and Sidrat-Al-Muntah ("Al") -- to thwart Druid's efforts.

(Secret Defenders#24) - As Defenders and Secret Defenders battled, Druid entered the corridor into Slorioth's Tabernacle, followed by the Cognoscenti's Joshua and Al. Druid immobilized the pair but was then forcibly merged with his own darker self, which then used the Bride of Slorioth to cause Slorioth to erupt through the ground below the battling Defenders. 

(Secret Defenders#25) - As Slorioth's rise was felt across Earth, Slorioth was futilely fought by the two groups of Defenders while Joshua and Al summoned Cadaver and Sepulcre to fight the corrupted Druid. Ultimately, Joshua marshalled the collective will of humanity and -- combined with the birth of Rose Steadbaur (the newest member of the Cognoscenti, forging them into a trinity) -- forced Druid to expend such energies battling him that he drew the attention of the Vishanti. While the Earth would be sacrificed during a battle between the Vishanti and Slorioth, the Vishanti acceded to binding arbitration, and the Living Tribunal declared that Slorioth's entirety was to great for any one realm, and he/they banished Slorioth to some other realm. 

    Joshua then restored Shadowoman and Cadaver (both of whom had been destroyed by the at least seemingly corrupted Dr. Druid, after which they retired to the House of Wyldwood before departing. Restored to his previous form, Druid revealed his fate after their departure, noting that Starkesboro was freed from bondage and the Earth was again relatively safe. He referenced "all of the lies...all the decpetions," apparently hinting that he had gone through all of that life Shadowoman's curse.

    See comments for a potential additional appearance of Starkesboro...

Comments: Created by Archie Goodwin, Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Frank Brunner.

Where is Starkesboro?

How to spell Starkesboro:

    I don't know about Salem State College, but in the real world, Salem State University is in Salem, Massachusetts. I'd ASSume Salem State College was in Salem, Massachusetts, but I don't think it was confirmed.

    The serpentine people of Starkesboro "fled back into the hills" around the time of N'Gabthoth's death...so the Serpent Men of Starkesboro / Spawn of Sligguth live in the hills/wooded region outside of Starkesboro? Seems like there's more story to tell...
    The serpentine people are covered in greater detail in
the Serpentine People of Starkesboro profile.

    We don't know what happened to Starkesboro between Marvel Premiere I#7 and Captain America I#402, but a population of NEARLY 1000 inhabited the town at the time of the latter. The 19 years between the stories real time equates to perhaps 4 years Marvel Time, but regardless, there was a population of apparently non-serpentine people who fell under Dredmund Druid's influence.
    And then, by the time of Secret Defenders#23, which was published only 2 years after the Captain America story, so maybe only 4-6 months later, the population was over 15,000. The deal with Dredmund must have really boosted the morale of the people and the economy of the town of Starkesboro.

    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.

    Bethel Doan isn' t referenced as frequently, but she's first and more frequently named as "Bethel," as opposed to "Bethal," more like 4-2 times.

    The Official Index to Captain America lists those transformed by Nightshade as the Werewolves of Starkesboro. It doesn't refer to Moonchildren (a term used almost exclusively by Druid), Night Patrol (a term used by Nightshade referring to a group of wolf-people serving as security/combat), or Pit-Wolves (a term used by Seward referring to those who were not loyal to Dredmund are who were imprisoned in the Wolf Pit. Nightshade calls both her creations and other wolf-people Werewolves.
    As Werewolves specifically refers to the mystically-created Werewolves (derived from the power of the Darkhold and the Wolf God), and since werewolf specifically means wolf-MAN, I prefer to refer to them by the above groups, or collectively as the wolf-people of Starkesboro.
    The group was collectively referred to as the Night Patrol in the Wolverine Encyclopedia#2.
    Some of the wolf people referred to their wolf forms as "wolfen," a term also used by Wolfsbane to describe those with lupine natures.
    Moonhunter also referred to them as "Doggies," "Furpeople," "Mange," and "Mutts."

    I also prefer the term Godstone to refer to the gem that transformed John Jameson into Man-Wolf/Stargod (and Druid into Starwolf). Moongem can be confused with the gems that empowered the various Moonstones (Karla Soften, Llyod Bloch, etc.).

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp5-maybe    I'm not sure if this image was meant to be Starkesboro or just some nearby town. The text in the next panel says, "Ahead is sinister Starksboro (sic)..." and Wong and Clea don't actually seem to arrive until the next issue...so I guess not, but it's creepy anyway.

    For Starkesboro to have been economically depressed for a decade at the time of Captain America I#402-408, that period would have had to have started before the Fantastic Four were empowered.

    The three issues involving the Serpent Men of Starkesboro took two writers and three artists...I'm not sure if that changed the plans or anything, but you do get three different takes on their appearances.

The entire storyline carried the banner "Featuring Concepts Created by Robert E. Howard."
Omar Karindu and Cyborg Caveman (Greg O) also add--The whole Starkesboro sequence owes much to Lovecraft's story "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," about a New England coastal town that becomes a cult to ichthyomorphic monstrosities. This cult worshipped Father Dagon and Mother Hydra. References to the Cthulu Mythos can be found throughout Marvel's stuff.

H.P. Lovecraft's The Colour Out of Space (written in March, 1927; published in Amazing Stories in September, 1927) was set in the valley before it was flooded for the reservoir. Its mention by Roy Thomas in Marvel Premiere #4 (September, 1972) could be another reference to the Cthulhu Mythos.

Additional, quite interesting comments on the inverted cross, via Per Degaton:

"I was looking through Marvel Two-in-One#66, and Hugh Jones used an upside down cross, too. Obviously, an homage to the Serpent Men of  Stakesboro story.
  And then, it occured to me how strange it was that they used an upside down cross. After all, there were no Christians during the Hyborian era. In fact, even the early Christians did not use the Cross; the Cross did not show up in Christian artwork until the Roman Emperor Constantine!
http://www.nobeliefs.com/facts.htm#anchor237925
http://www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm
It is at this time that the Chi Rho and the symbol of the fish, representing the miraculous nature of Jesus' message (at least as formulated by the gospel writers), is replaced by the cross, at the time a symbol of death and suffering, as the principal emblem of Christianity.

  I suppose the connection would come from Mitra, who has been established as having been worshipped during the Hyborian era. Mitra is a version of the name Mithra, whom the emperor Constantine also worshipped. In fact, Constantine remained a member of the Mithraist religion until his death bed.
     He adapted elements of Mithraism for Roman Catholicism. (The above link notes that the Romans did not use a t-shaped cross in their executions, rather just a one-piece stake. The cross was a Mithraist symbol.) So, the reason that Sligguth used the upside down cross was to mock Mitra, not Christianity.
http://members.aol.com/MercStG/ChriMithPage1.html
http://www.geocities.com/spenta_mainyu_2/mithras.htm
http://atheismawareness.home.att.net/debate/debate009.htm
http://www.crosscircle.com/CH_2f.htm"

    An alternative explanation is that the demons Set, Sligguth, etc. would be weakened or injured by the "White magic" (or however you prefer to explain it) of a Christian symbol and its faith...not far from the way vampires are injured/weakened by religious symbols backed by faith. And perhaps they used the inverted cross as a deliberate...something (insult...defiance...) against Christianity. Per Degaton's explanation is cooler, though.--Snood.

Starkesboro, Connecticut?starkesboro-massachusetts-xmbs2-ct2starkesboro-massachusetts-xmbs2-ct1

 

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Starkesboro, Massachusetts has no KNOWN connections to:


Caleb Starke

(Marvel Premiere#4 - BTS) - <1670 A.D.> An obscure religious sect emigrated from England to America to escape religious persecution.

     Led by Caleb Starke, they formed the town of Starkesboro in New England, and they remained isolated, clannish, and withdrawn, with nearly all residents of the town being descended from the founders.

--Marvel Premiere#4

Note: The specific spelling of Caleb's surname in its only use lends strong support to the town's name being spelled Starkeboro.

     It is unrevealed how long after Starke's group settled they found the inverted cross and fell under Sligguth's influence. It is possible that Caleb is one of the men who found the cross.

     Additonally, it would seem LIKELY that the sole statue seen in town would represent its founder, Caleb Starke, but the nameplate is never shown and the statue is never referenced or identified, so that remains unrevealed.




unidentified hotel manager/owner

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-hotelclerkupperstarkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-hotelclerkfacestarkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-hotelclerkmostfull    Ethan Stoddard led Dr. Strange to the town's best (and only) hotel, and the manager (and possibly the owner) was surprised, as they didn't get many visitors. Strange asked about Bethel Doan, and the owner told him that while he knew of Doans in town, but that he couldn't place the name of Bethel. 

     After ordering a pair of rooms, Strange and Stoddard went silently to their rooms under the taciturn clerk's gaze.

    When the manager delivered Strange's tea to his room, Strange asked whether the rest of the staff was at the Saturday evening service and whether it was something special or if it the timing was typical.

     The manager told him that he WAS the staff and that the hotel was his worry, so he didn't pay attention to anything else.


--Marvel Premiere#4

Note: He did not demonstrate the "Starkesboro look," nor did he attend the Saturday midnight service at the church. It remains unconfirmed whether he was or was not one of the serpentine people.



 unidentified librarian

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-librarian-deskstarkesboro-massastarkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-librarian-face-profile

    Entering the library, Ethan Stoddard questioned the librarian about Bethel Doan's whereabouts, first being ignored before receiving an invitation to leave town with the outsider (Dr. Strange) he had brought in. Ignoring this, Ethan entered the library and found Bethel. Although she heard him calling her, Beth remained silent initially, after which she also advised him to depart with his outsider friend. When Ethan forced a confrontation with Beth, he was shocked to see how she had taken on the "Starkesboro look" as well. 

    As Ethan panicked and fled, Beth told him that she had hoped he wouldn't see her like this, after which she discussed with the librarian her worries about how badly Ethan was taking it, but the librarian assured her how all was going as it should, which was all that was important. 
--Marvel Premiere#4

Note: He certainly was allied with the serpentine cause, and he looks a bit scaly around the temple, so he was most likely one of the serpentine people of Starkesboro.

     Though not clearly pictured or identified, he was presumably one of those involved with Strange at the church +/- those involved with Ebora at N'Gabthoth's roost.

     I don't know why I didn't include him in that profile, but probably because he was unidentified. Anyway, I'm covering him here, now...if someone wants to relocate this sub-profile to the serpentine people's profile, I'm fine with taht.




 Mayor Seward

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap404-sewardstarkesboro-massachusetts-cap408-mayor      As one of the wolf-people of Starkesboro, Seward presumably transformed into a lupine humanoid at nighttime and possessed superhuman strength, speed, agility, olfactory and auditory senses, and sharp claws.

(Captain America I#407/1 (fb) - BTS) - Dredmund Cromwell, aka the Druid, approached Starkesboro's Mayor Seward  with a proposition to improve Starkesboro's economy by making it the site for his weekend seminars on "Getting in Touch With Your Hairy Selves," new therapy for dealing with the stress of modern civilization. 

(Captain America I#407/1 (fb) - BTS) - Via aid from Nightshade and the power of the Moongem/Godstone, Cromwell had many of the town's residents transformed into wolf-people, apparently including Mayor Seward. Those who followed Dredmund were known by him as his Moonchildren.

(Captain America I#404) - Captain America and Dr. Anthony Druid investigated Starkesboro, and they approached Town Hall in hopes of talking to the town's mayor. As Druid had used his psychic powers to render himself and Cap invisible to the wolf people, the mayor rushed past them at the steps to the building. He didn't see them, and they did not know if he was the mayor, so they just continued on into the building. 

(Captain America I#406-407 - BTS) - Seward was presumably present at the church when Dredmund prepared to sacrifice Dr. Druid to enable him to fully access the Moongem's power. When Captain America -- also mutated into lupine form by Nightshade but retaining his own will and most of his mind -- arrived to stop him, Druid sent his Moonchildren against Capwolf. Joined by Werewolf (Jack Russell), Wolfsbane, Ferocia, and other pit-wolves he had liberated, and soon by Cable and Wolverine as well, Capwolf tore the Moongem from Druid (who had briefly transformed into the powerful Starwolf) and defeated him.

(Captain America I#408 (fb) - BTS) - Captain America kept Dredmund captive as he forced Nightshade to cure him and all of the other residents of Starkesboro. 

(Captain America I#408) - Captain America confronted mayor Seward regarding the "werewolf murders" that first brought Starkesboro to his attention, and Seward assured him that the individuals involved in those terrible incidents all perished in the altercation with the pit-wolves in the church. He further assured Cap that he would cooperate with a police investigation of the werewolf murders, and Jack Russell noted that he believed Seward was telling the truth.

--Captain America I#404

Note: Seward was not identified in his lupine form, but as he was one of the townspeople shown lacking clothes after the wolf-people had been cured, it can be assumed that he had lost his clothes after turning into a wolf-man.

    As he wasn't confined to the Wolf Pit, he was not one of the pit-wolves...he was presumably one of the Moonchildren, and he may or may not have been part of the Night Patrol.




 Dougie

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap404-dougie-cyclestarkesboro-massachusetts-cap404-dougie     Dougie amongst the wolf-people of Starkesboro, and he transformed into a lupine humanoid at night time and possessed superhuman strength, speed, agility, olfactory and auditory senses, and sharp claws.

(
Captain America I#404 (fb) - BTS) - Dougie served in the Night Patrol, confronting the investigating Captain America and Dr. Druid. After Druid used his psychic powers to make themselves invisible to the wolf-people, Dougie reported to Moonhunter that they had vanished.

(Captain America I#404) - Dougie accompanied Moonhunter in his skycycle to the site from which the heroes had disappeared, hoping to locate them. After Dr. Druid added Moonhunter to those affected by his invisibility spell, Moonhunter noted with frustration that Dougie couldn't even pick up their scent, and he asked, "What good are you manges, anyway?).

When Moonhunter instructed Dougie to stay there while he combed the rest of the town, Dougie expressed frustration that the sun was coming up and he had no clothes to put on. Mocking Dougie's plight, Moonhunter departed as Dougie began to change.

--Captain America I#404

Note:
As he wasn't confined to the Wolf Pit, he was not one of the Pit-Wolves...he was presumably one of the Moonchildren, and was almost certainly part of the Night Patrol. He was likely present but not identified at the Church confrontation detailed in Seward's sub-profile.



 Gary & Mike

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap403-garymikefacesstarkesboro-massachusetts-cap403-garymikefull     Gary and Mike were amongst the wolf-people of Starkesboro, and they transformed into a lupine humanoid at night time and possessed superhuman strength, speed, agility, olfactory and auditory senses, and sharp claws.

     They were presumably mechanics in their human forms, as Moonhunter had them check his skycycle.

(
Captain America I#403) - After capturing Ferocia, Moonhunter dropped his skycycle off with Gary and Mike, instructing them to fuel it up and to check the throttle, which had been sticking.

(Captain America I#403 (fb) - BTS) - Gary and Mike apparently informed Moonhunter that they did not recognize the wolf-woman he had recovered.

(Captain America I#403 - BTS) - Moonhunter reported this to Nighshade, noting that this either meant she were crankin' out these "furpeople" faster than anyone could keep track of or she wasn't one of theirs.

(Captain America I#403 - BTS) - Nightshade reported the presence of Ferocia to Dredmund, who credited the Godstone/Moongem's power for drawing her there.

--Captain America I#403

Note: As they weren't confined to the Wolf Pit, they were not Pit-Wolves...they were presumably Moonchildren, and they may or may not have been part of the Night Patrol. They were likely present but not identified at the Church confrontation detailed in Seward's sub-profile.

     It is logical to assume Gary is the gray and white one on the left and Mike is the brown one on the right based on the order Moonhunter called them out...but that's not confirmed.




John

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap405-john-humanstarkesboro-massachusetts-cap405-john-wolfenstarkesboro-massachusetts-cap405-john-transforming     As one of the wolf-people of Starkesboro, John transformed into a lupine humanoid at night time and possessed superhuman strength, speed, agility, olfactory and auditory senses, and sharp claws.

(Captain America I#405/1) - After Nightshade transformed Captain America into "Capwolf," and he broke free and took off. Dredmund chided the population for not pursuing Capwolf. Encouraged by an unidentified woman (presumably a friend or lover), John respectfully stated that it wasn't right and that Capwolf would tear them apart.

     When another of the people noted that they weren't wolfen, Dredmund used his powers to transform them into wolfen form despite the sunlight, and they pursued him. John and the other Moonchildren, joined by the entranced Wolverine, but he fought them off and escaped.


--
--Captain America I#405



 Moonchildren

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap406-moonchildren-dredmundstarkesboro-massachusetts-cap406-moonchildren-capwolf     Moonchildren seems to be the term Dredmund Druid uses to refer to those transformed into wolf people by Nightshade. PERHAPS it most specifically refers to those who were loyal to him, differentiating them from the pit-wolves, locked up in the Wolf Pit.

(Captain America I#406/1 (fb) - BTS) - For months, the Moonchildren asked Dredmund when he was going to unleash his own wild side, and he explained that there were forces with which he had to contend first (specifically he wanted to make sure he would regain his own mind when he accessed the power of the Godstone).

(Captain America I#402/1) - A short distance from Starkesboro, one of the wolf-people slew a man (and apparently others over time; there may have been more than one wolf-person doing this) in the woods.

(Captain America I#404/1) - After the captured Wolverine's healing factor proved resistant to Nightshade's chemicals, Dredmund used hypnosis to place him under his control. Dredmund further instructed Nightshade to abandon her efforts to make him one of the Moonchildren as he was feral enough for their community as he was.

     Sensing the heavy pall of mysticism over Starkesboro, Dr. Druid noted that he got the impression that there was something else underlying their transformations. Captain America commented on a possible chemical basis, recalling his experience with Nightshade's werewolf formula in the past (although he was unaware of Nightshade's involvement at the time).

(Captain America I#405/1) - After Nightshade transformed Captain America into "Capwolf," and he broke free and took off. Dredmund chided the population for not pursuing Capwolf. When John and others noted that they were not wolfen and that he would tear them apart, Dredmund used his powers to transform them into wolfen form, and they pursued him. They fought him in the woods, aided by the entranced Wolverine, but he fought them off and escaped.

(Captain America I#406) - The Moonchildren were  present at the church when Dredmund prepared to sacrifice Dr. Druid to enable him to fully access the Godstone's power. When Captain America -- also mutated into lupine form by Nightshade but retaining his own will and most of his mind -- arrived to stop him, Druid sent his Moonchildren against Capwolf. They delayed him sufficiently for Dredmund to access the Godstone's power

(Captain America I#407) - Starwolf told his Moonchildren to release Capwolf, as he was no longer a threat. He then encouraged them to rejoice in their animal-ness, their oneness with nature, aand their superiority to tamed man. Noting that civilization was a decadent state of being and that wilderness was the natural way of things, he vowed that together they would free the planet from the degradation humanity had inflicted upon it and turn it back to nature. He then instructed his Moonchildren to rend Cap limb from limb as only once they had spilled blood would they know the glory of their savage heritage.

    Werewolf (Jack Russell), Wolfsbane, Ferocia, and other pit-wolves Capwolf had liberated then arrived, and Starwolf urged the Moonchildren to slay them. An arriving Cable began firing on all of the wolf people, leading Capwolf to attack him before Starwolf used his powers to restrain them. 

    The wolfen John Jameson took Dr. Druid to Nightshade's lab and then injected Nightshade with her own werewolf formula before instructing her to find an antidote for the wolf-people. After Moonhunter escaped the Wolf Pit, freed Wolverine, and entered Nightshade's laboratory, Dr. Druid released Moonhunter and Wolverine from Dredmund's control. Freed by Wolverine, Capwolf ultimately tore the Godstone from Dredmund's throat, turning him back into a human, and Cable crushed the Godstone.

(Captain America I#408 (fb) - BTS) - Captain America kept Dredmund captive as he forced Nightshade to cure him and all of the other residents of Starkesboro. 

(Captain America I#408) - Captain America confronted mayor Seward regarding the "werewolf murders" that first brought Starkesboro to his attention, and Seward assured him that the individuals involved in those terrible incidents all perished in the altercation with the pit-wolves in the church.

--Captain America I#402; (identified) Captain America I#404 (402-408

Note:
It is possible that the Moonchildren is a collective term for all those transformed by Nightshade's werewolf formula, but I've generally used the term to refer to those following Druid, as opposed to the rebellious and imprisoned Pit-Wolves. The Night Patrol MAY refer to a select group of Moonchildren who guarded the town at night.




 Night Patrol

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap403-nightpatrolstarkesboro-massachusetts-cap404-nightpatrol     The Night Patrol is a group of wolf-people transformed by Nightshade's Werewolf formula who acted as security in Starkesboro (see note).

(
Captain America I#403) - When a mystic alarm alerted Dredmund Druid to the presence of an intruder (Wolverine) to Starkesboro, Nightshade advised him not to worry, as the Night Patrol would make short work of whoever was there.

     
The Night Patrol engaged Wolverine, and Moonhunter eventually subdued and captured him. Moonhunter then instructed the wolf-people to get off of Wolverine, as he wasn't a midnight snack, and instead instructed them to bring Wolverine to Doc Nightshade.

     When Captain America and Druid arrived shortly thereafter, the Night Patrol surrounded them.

(Captain America I#404) - Levitating to a safe height, Druid progressively mesmerized the werewolves into not being able to see Cap and himself, and then they he levitated them away from the conflict. 

--Captain America I#403

Note: Dougie is almost certainly a member of the Night Patrol. Possibly Gary and Mike. No others were identified by name.

     The wolf-people of Starkesboro were
collectively referred to as the Night Patrol in the Wolverine Encyclopedia#2.




 Pit-Wolves

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap407-pitwolvesstarkesboro-massachusetts-cap402-pitwolves-mh      The Pit-Wolves was a name used by Mayor Seward (at least) for those wolf-people who resisted following Dredmund Druid and were imprisoned in the Wolf-Pit. Most of them were those transformed by Nightshade's werewolf serum (including John Jameson, the white one, who was the alpha in the group until the arrival of Capwolf). Others who were already "wolfen" (wolf-people via other origins) ended up in the Wolf Pit, such as Wolfsbane and Ferocia.

     Wearing silver-coated armor and using silver-coated weaponry, Moonhunter apparently visited them twice a day and whipped or otherwise tried to force them to accept their wolf nature and to fall into line under Dredmund Druid.

(Captain America I#402/1) - As Moonhunter worked to tame the Pit-Wolves, Dredmund interrupted him, telling him they needed to speak to him regarding "another intruder." The distraction allowed one of the wolf-people to ambush Moonhunter, but he soon fought free and departed the Wolf Pit. He further told them when he came back, he was going to give them something to really howl about, and that they should be "good little doggies" and stop fighting what they had become: "The sooner you get used to it, the sooner you'll be let out of the hole!"

(Captain America I#403/1 (fb) - BTS) - Ferocia was presumably placed into the Wolf Pit.

(Captain America I#406/1 (fb)) - Moonhunter captured Wolfsbane as she approached. She was dumped into the pit, where he twice a day whipped her and the other pit-wolves, trying to whack them into line/compliance.

(Captain America I#406/1) - Nightshade manipulated Cap-Wolf into entering the Wolf Pit. Defeating the lupine John Jameson (not that either recognized the other), the lupine Captain America earned the allegiance of other imprisoned wolf-people, whom he led to break out of captivity. Capwolf then led the Pit-Wolves to incapacitate and imprison Moonhunter, capture Nightshade, and free the Jack Russell Werewolf.

(Captain America I#407/1) - The energies of the Godstone transformed Dredmund into the Starwolf, but Capwolf was joined by Werewolf, Wolfsbane, Ferocia, and the other freed Pit-Wolves. The Pit-Wolves fought the Moonchildren under Starwolf's control until Capwolf ultimately tore the Godstone from Dredmund, disrupting his power.

(Captain America I#408 (fb) - BTS) - Captain America kept Dredmund captive as he forced Nightshade to cure him and all of the other residents of Starkesboro. 

--Captain America I#402, (identified at Pit-Wolves) Captain America I#408




 desecrated church

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-church-interiorstarkesboro-church-marvprem5-sacrifice     After the discovery of the serpentine inverted cross, the people of Starkesboro fell under the influence of Sligguth, and they conducted sacrifices to him in their desecrated church.

     A "labyrinth" tunnel connected the church to Sligguth's lair, below sea level.

(
Marvel Premiere#4) - After arriving in Starkesboro, Strange head the church bells at midnight, considered the oddness of the timing of the ceremony, and later noted the bizarre and similar appearance of the people leaving Starkesboro.

     The next day, Strange entered the church
and found an altar with iron shackles, deeply stained on the surface, betraying it blasphemous purpose; an inverted cross, the sign of the black mass (see comments); and the mark of Sligguth behind the cross. Seeing the latter, Strange realized how and why an entire atmosphere of utmost evil was working against his powers. He further sensed how the church's dark aura had its heart at a certain door (the entrance to the "labyrinth" tunnels to Sligguth's lair).

     After Ethan Stoddard fell back under the influence of the serpentine people/Sligguth/etc., Strange was overwhelmed by the town's aura, captured, and manacled on the altar.

(
Marvel Premiere#5) - Ebora and Sligguth emerged from the "labyrinth" tunnel, but Strange ultimately -- backed by the power of the Ancient One -- drove off Sligguth and the serpentine people. Strange then followed Sligguth

(
Marvel Premiere#6) - N'Gabthoth rushed to the desecrated church and recovered an "eon-old chest," but Strange confronted N'Gabthoth and turned his magics against him, apparently destroying the Shambler. 

(Marvel Premiere#6 - BTS) - From the chest he had taken from N'Gabthoth, Strange saw a map of Stonehenge. Sensing dire perils -- frightful abysses of forgotten fears and chasms of primordial horrors gaping wide to destroy their world --  and specifically the threat of Shuma-Gorath, Strange resolved that they must travel to England.

--Marvel Premiere#4

Note: It is unclear which is the church vs. the library in this picture, but I believe the building with the apparent steeple and the bell is the church.

     The Church is also shown in a few images 
in the Serpentine People of Starkesboro profile.

     The desecrated church MAY be the same as the church Dredmund Druid later utilized in the "Man and Wolf" story arc, but it would seem to me that people would be less than willing to use a church that was used for centuries by demon-worshippers and in which human sacrifices were performed. For this reason, I have separated the two church's into separate sub-profiles.




 Druidic church

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap403-churchextstarkesboro-massachusetts-cap403-churchint
(Captain America I#403/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Druid (Dredmund Cromwell) made his base in Starkesboro's church, which he adorned with statuary reminiscent of Stonehenge and other Druidic symbols. He used the church vestry as his private office.

(Captain America I#403/1) - Nightshade went to Dredmund to inform him that Moonhunter had brought in the extradimensional wolf-woman Ferocia, who was not one of their subjects. Finding the sanctuary empty, she located Dredmund in his vestry.

(Captain America I#406) - The Moonchildren were  present at the church when Dredmund prepared to sacrifice Dr. Druid to enable him to fully access the Godstone's power. When Captain America -- also mutated into lupine form by Nightshade but retaining his own will and most of his mind -- arrived to stop him, Druid sent his Moonchildren against Capwolf. They delayed him sufficiently for Dredmund to access the Godstone's power

(Captain America I#407) - Starwolf instructed his Moonchildren to rend Cap limb from limb as only once they had spilled blood would they know the glory of their savage heritage.

    Werewolf (Jack Russell), Wolfsbane, Ferocia, and other pit-wolves Capwolf had liberated then arrived, and Starwolf urged the Moonchildren to slay them. An arriving Cable began firing on all of the wolf people, leading Capwolf to attack him before Starwolf used his powers to restrain them. 

    The wolfen John Jameson took Dr. Druid to Nightshade's lab and then injected Nightshade with her own werewolf formula before instructing her to find an antidote for the wolf-people. After Moonhunter escaped the Wolf Pit, freed Wolverine, and entered Nightshade's laboratory, Dr. Druid released Moonhunter and Wolverine from Dredmund's control. Freed by Wolverine, Capwolf ultimately tore the Godstone from Dredmund's throat, turning him back into a human, and Cable crushed the Godstone

--Captain America I#403

Note: The upper portion of the church tower is shown in the Moonchildren sub-profile.

     The church used by Dredmund Druid MAY be the desecrated church seen in Marvel Premiere I#4-6. However, it would seem to me that people would be less than willing to use a church that was used for centuries by demon-worshippers and in which human sacrifices were performed. For this reason, I have separated the two church's into separate sub-profiles.




 (Dredmund) Druid's vestry

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap403-vestrystarkesboro-massachusetts-cap403-vestry2(Captain America I#403/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Druid (Dredmund Cromwell) made his base in Starkesboro's church, which he adorned with statuary reminiscent of Stonehenge and other Druidic symbols.

     He used the church vestry as his private office.

(Captain America I#403/1) - Nightshade went to Dredmund in his vestry to inform him that Moonhunter had brought in the extradimensional wolf-woman Ferocia, who was not one of their subjects.

     Dredmund hypothesized that it was the Godstone which drew her to Starkesboro, and that they should be prepared for more intruders. 


(Captain America I#405/1) - Doctor Druid discovered Dredmund's vestry, and Dredmund confronted him there. 

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap405-druidvestryDredmund used his  Godstone-enhanced powers to overwhelm and incapacitate Dr. Druid. Cap-Wolf later returned to confront Nightshade but instead fell under her influence. 


--Captain America I#403




 House of Wyldwind

starkesboro-massachusetts-secdef23-how-interiorstarkesboro-massachusetts-secdef25-how-ext
     A hotel in Starkesboro, it served as a base/meeting place for Dr. Anthony Druid with the Secret Defenders he gathered, including his base members, Cadaver and Sepulcre/Shadowoman, and his new recruits, Dagger, Deathlok, and Drax.

(
Secret Defenders I#23) - After Doctor Druid gathered his Secret Defenders in Starkesboro, he brought them to the House of Wyldwind, the roof of which Drax subsequently crashed through.

     Druid then led his associates to an empty glen in the woods, not far from the hotel.

(Secret Defenders I#25) - After Slorioth was banished and the seemingly corrupted Dr. Druid had been defeated, Joshua Pryce and Al of the Cognoscenti joined the Secret Defenders in retiring to the House of Wyldwood before departing.

     Posing as a butler, Druid offered drinks to the group.

     Restored to his previous form, Druid revealed his fate after their departure, noting that Starkesboro was freed from bondage and the Earth was again relatively safe.
starkesboro-massachusetts-secdef25-how-int1
     He referenced "all of the lies...all the deceptions," apparently hinting that he had gone through all of that life Shadowoman's curse.

--Secret Defenders I#23

Note: At the time of Marvel Premiere I#4, the only hotel in Starkesboro was a conventional hotel, with multiple floors and an elevator.

     With Secret Defenders#23-25 taking place only 4-5 years Marvel Time after the Marvel Premiere arc, it seems clear that the House of Wyldwind is not a newly built location, so perhaps it was a home built into a boarding house or something?




 labyrinth

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp5-labyrinth-stairs



A  "labyrinth" (see note) tunnel connected Sligguth's lair to Starkesboro's desecrated church.

(Marvel Premiere#5) - Alongside his dark priestess, Ebora, Sligguth confronted the chained Strange, but (apparently remotely aided by the Ancient One) Strange broke free and invoked spells from mystic principalities to cause Sligguth to flee back into his labyrinth. Similarly driving off the serpentine townspeople, Strange followed Sligguth into the labyrinth. 

    Using a black candle to light his way, Strange was soon after assaulted by large bats who bit and swarmed over him. Using his candle to set aflame the numerous dried spider-webs, Strange drove off the bats and then continued down the hand-hewn stone steps. The candle flames alerted Strange to a trap door over a pit filled with vipers and other creatures, allowing him to bypass it.

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp5-labyrinth-bats2
starkesboro-massachusetts-mp5-labyrinth-bats(Marvel Premiere#5 - BTS) - Meanwhile, the Ancient One was carried off by the Shadowmen of sunken Kaa-U, interrupting his aid of Strange. Additionally, sensing the danger to Strange and the Ancient One, Clea -- via the Orb of Agamotto -- confirmed the nature of the threats to her allies, and she then led Wong to join her in traveling to Starkesboro.

(Marvel Premiere#5) - His eyes stung and his lungs strained by noxious, fetid mists exuding from the cavern's stone, Strange encountered Sligguth anew in Sligguth's lair, located in a cavern beneath the sea.

--Marvel Premiere#4

Note:
The passageway connecting Sligguth's lair to the church is repeatedly referred to as a labyrinth, which is a complex maze. I don't see much evidence that it was more than a passageway/tunnel.

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp5-labyrinth-vipers


 N'Gabthoth's cavern

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp6-ngcav1starkesboro-massachusetts-mp6-ngcav2starkesboro-massachusetts-mp6-ngcav3     Just off the coast of Starkesboro, at the bottom of the sea, N'Gabthoth slept in a cavern for "untold eons."

     In recent years, after Sligguth seemingly perished in battle with Dr. Strange, N'Gabthoth awakened, and he opened the door to his cavern and headed to the town of Starkesboro.

--Marvel Premiere#6

Note: We don't know when or why N'Gabthoth established this cavern base.

     Was he there before Slorioth and/or Sligguth?

     Did he go there willingly, perhaps as part of some ancient plan of Shuma-Gorath, or was he imprisoned there.

     Presumably the cavern remains there, uninhabited.



 N'Gabthoth's roost

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp6-ngroost-stairsstarkesboro-massachusetts-mp6-ngrooststarkesboro-massachusetts-mp6-altar     An altar atop a seaside cliff.

   Led by Ebora, the serpentine townspeople brought their captives -- Clea, Wong, and Johnny Frames -- up the sacred cliff to N'Gabthoth's roost and then manacled them to the altar. Ebora then called to N'Gabthoth, who emerged from the sea.

     Hearing the chanting atop the seaside cliff, Dr. Strange flew there and saw his allies chained to the altar. The weakened Strange was overpowered by N'Gabthoth, but he did manage to shatter the altar and free the captives, who engaged the serpentine people. The Ancient One'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, driving him off.

    N'Gabthoth rushed to the desecrated church where Strange confronted the demon and turned his magics against him, apparently destroying the Shambler. 

--Marvel Premiere#6




 Nightshade's laboratory

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap403-nshadelab     Under the influence of the Druid (Dredmund Cromwell), Nightshade recreated her "werewolf formula," enhanced by products from the serum of the true Werewolf Jack Russell.

(
Captain America I#403) - Moonhunter met with Nightshade in her lab, informing her of the arrival of the outsider Ferocia.

(Captain America I#404/1) - After Wolverine's healing factor proved resistant to Nightshade's chemicals, Dredmund used hypnosis to place him in a trance.

(Captain America I#405/1 (fb) - BTS) - Nightshade developed a new formula that allowed the wolf-people to retain their wolfen form during daylight, although bright sunlight still hurt their eyes.

(Captain America I#405/1) - Dredmund watched as Nightshade transformed Captain America into a werewolf with her chemical, but the Captain broke free of his restraints and escaped, avoiding Dredmund's hypnotic glare. 

(Captain America I#406/1) - Capwolf led the wolf-men army to incapacitate and imprison Moonhunter, capture Nightshade, and free the Jack Russell Werewolf. 

(Captain America I#407/1) - The wolfen John Jameson took Dr. Druid to Nightshade's lab and then injected Nightshade with her own werewolf formula before instructing her to find an antidote for the wolf-people. After Moonhunter escaped the Wolf Pit, freed Wolverine, and entered Nightshade's laboratory, Dr. Druid released the escaped Moonhunter and Wolverine from Dredmund's control. Wolverine then freed Capwolf and Cable and joined them against Dredmund. Ultimately, Capwolf tore the Godstone from Dredmund's throat, turning him back into a human, and Cable crushed the Godstone.

(Captain America I#408/1) - Captain America kept Dredmund captive as he forced Nightshade to cure him and all of the other residents of Starkesboro. After Capwolf was treated, he was suddenly assaulted by his Infinity War Captain America doppelganger whom he ultimately destroyed after learning it wasn't a living being (rather a fractal from the Dimension of Manifestations).

--Captain America I#405


 Sligguth's lair

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp5-sligguthlair(Marvel Premiere#5 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Sligguth, one of the spawn of Set, took up residence in an undersea cavern on the edge of the land that would become Starkesboro.

(Marvel Premiere#5) - His eyes stung and his lungs strained by noxious, fetid mists exuding from the cavern's stone, Strange encountered Sligguth anew in Sligguth's lair, located in a cavern beneath the sea. 

    The Vishanti temporarily suspended the town's evil aura, allowing Strange to drive off Sligguth. Ebora sensed this and she called upon sea-things and ghouls to cause the seas to shatter the stone into Sligguth's lair. 

(Marvel Premiere#6) - Strange drove off Ebora and escaped Sligguth's lair.

--Marvel Premiere#4 (5-6




 Slorioth's tabernacle

starkesboro-massachusetts-secdef23-slortab



(Secret Defenders#23) - Druid used the Bride of Slorioth talisman to bring to the surface Slorioth's Tabernacle, which he intended to enter. However, at that point the time-displaced original Defenders (Hulk, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Silver Surfer) arrived -- summoned there by the Cognoscenti's Joshua Pryce and Sidrat-Al-Muntah ("Al") -- to thwart Druid's efforts.

(Secret Defenders#24) - As Defenders and Secret Defenders battled, Druid entered the corridor into Slorioth's Tabernacle, followed by the Cognoscenti's Joshua and Al. Druid immobilized the pair but was then forcibly merged with his own darker self, which then used the Bride of Slorioth to cause Slorioth to erupt through the ground below the battling Defenders. 


starkesboro-massachusetts-secdef24-slortab
starkesboro-massachusetts-secdef24-slortab-cor

starkesboro-massachusetts-secdef24-slortab-int(Secret Defenders#25) - Joshua and Al summoned Cadaver and Sepulcre to fight the seemingly-corrupted Druid in Slorioth's tabernacle. 

Ultimately, Joshua marshalled the collective will of humanity and -- combined with the birth of Rose Steadbaur (the newest member of the Cognoscenti, forging them into a trinity) -- forced Druid to expend such energies battling him that he drew the attention of the Vishanti. 

While the Earth would be sacrificed during a battle between the Vishanti and Slorioth, the Vishanti acceded to binding arbitration, and the Living Tribunal declared that Slorioth's entirety was to great for any one realm, and he/they banished Slorioth to some other realm. 


--Secret Defenders I#23
starkesboro-massachusetts-secdef24-slortab-int-druid



 statue

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap408-statue-facestarkesboro-massachusetts-cap408-statue-body
     A town statue was seen in Starkesboro had at least one town statue, which featured an unidentified man on horseback wearing a Colonial era-style hat, which reminds me of Paul Revere's hat.

--Captain America I#404 (408

Note:
It would seem LIKELY that the sole statue seen in town would represent its founder, Caleb Starke, but the nameplate is never shown and the statue is never referenced or identified, so that remains unrevealed.

     The statue is also shown in the image for Gary and Mike.






 town hotel

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-hotelsignstarkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-hotellobby

     The only hotel in town at the time, it had ornate doors and glass elevators. The owner/manager was the only staff working the hotel.

(Marvel Premiere#4) - Ethan Stoddard led Dr. Stephen Strange to the town's best (and only) hotel, and they ordered a pair of rooms.

     From his room, Strange observed the Starkesboro church and those departing its nigh-midnight service. 

     The owner/manager subsequently delivered Strange his tea. 

    As midnight struck, Strange released his astral form for a communion with this mentor, the Ancient One, and he found that he had to focus his power to force his way past something (the town's evil aura) that seemed to restrain his ectoplasmic form. 

(Marvel Premiere#4 (fb) - BTS) - Strange and Stoddard departed the hotel the following morning.


starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-hotelelevator --Marvel Premiere#4




starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-hotelroom

 town library

starkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-librarystepsstarkesboro-massachusetts-mp4-libraryint

(Marvel Premiere#4 (fb) - BTS) <2 months before the main story> - Bethel Doan decided to return to Starkesboro to continue her research at the local library, which had a lot of books other places did not, such as the Thanatosian Tomes. 

(Marvel Premiere#4) - Having returned to Starkesboro in search of Bethel, Ethan went into the library. 

    Ethan futilely questioned the librarian about Bethel's whereabouts, before wandering the library and finding her. When Ethan forced a confrontation with Bethel, he was shocked to see how she had taken on the "Starkesboro look." 

    As Ethan panicked and fled, Beth told him that she had hoped he wouldn't see her like this, after which she discussed with the librarian her worries about how badly Ethan was taking it, but the librarian assured her how all was going as it should, which was all that was important. 

--Marvel Premiere#4





 Wolf Pit

starkesboro-massachusetts-cap406-wolfpit-topstarkesboro-massachusetts-cap406-wolfpit-interior     Wolf-people who resisted following Dredmund Druid were imprisoned in the Wolf-Pit, also referred to as "the Hole" by Moonhunter. The inhabitants were also referred to as Pit-Wolves.

     The Wolf-Pit had a metal cage over its top, too high even for the superhumanly strong and agile wolf-people to reach.

     Most of those imprisoned were those transformed by Nightshade's werewolf serum, but others who were already "wolfen" (wolf-people via other origins) ended up in the Wolf Pit.

(Captain America I#402/1) - Moonhunter worked to tame the Pit-Wolves until Dredmund called him away, and used his lasso to ascend to the metal top to the pit and depart.

(Captain America I#403/1 (fb) - BTS) - Ferocia was presumably placed into the Wolf Pit.

(Captain America I#406/1 (fb)) - Moonhunter captured Wolfsbane as she approached. She was dumped into the pit, where he twice a day whipped her and the other pit-wolves, trying to whack them into line/compliance.

(Captain America I#406/1) - Nightshade manipulated Cap-Wolf into entering the Wolf Pit. Defeating the lupine John Jameson (not that either recognized the other), the lupine Captain America earned the allegiance of other imprisoned wolf-people, whom he led to break out of captivity. Capwolf then led the Pit-Wolves to incapacitate and imprison Moonhunter, capture Nightshade, and free the Jack Russell Werewolf.

(Captain America I#406/1) - Moonhunter escaped the Wolf-Pit.

--Captain America I#402




images: (without ads)
Marvel Premiere#4, pg. 7, panel 1 (Strange and Stoddard arriving);
            panel 10 (church clock);
        pg. 8, panel 1 (hotel sign);
            panel 2 (hotel lobby);
            panel 3 (hotel manager, upper);
            panel 8 (manager, mostfull);
            panel 10 (manager, face);
        pg. 11, panel 5 (library and church);
            panel 6 (library steps);
        pg. 12, panel 1 (librarian, desk, leaning over);
            panel 2 (librarian profile);
            panel 4 (interior; books with Bethel);
            panel 7 (church interior);
    #5,
pg. 3, panel 3 (people of Starkesboro find serpentine inverted cross);
            panel 6 (sacrifice/church);

        pg. 9, panel 3 & 5 (bats in labyrinth);
        pg. 10, panel 3 (labyrinth stairs);
        pg. 11, panel 1 (vipers and lizards);
        pg. 14, panel 2 (Clea & Wong approaching Starkesboro);
    #6, pg. 5, panel 2-4 (N'Gabthoth's cavern);
        pg. 6, panel 1 (Clea & Wong arriving in Starkesboro);
        pg. 7, panel 6 (steps to N'Gabthoth's roost);
        pg. 8, panel 1 (N'Gabthoth's roost)
Captain America I#402 (Wolf person attack outside Starkesboro);
        pg. 8, panel 1 (Moonhunter whipping Pit Wolves);
    #403, pg. 7, panel 2 (Starkesboro sign, population 932);
        pg. 8, panel 1 (Gary & Mike, faces);
            panel 2 (town statue, oblique, whole podium, had cropped out, face not seen; Gary & Mike (full, distant));.
            panel 3 (Nightshade's laboratory);
        pg. 11, pane1 2 (church exterior);
            panel 3 (church interior, druidic totems);
        pg. 12, panel 2-3 (church vestry);
        pg. 17, panel 2 (Night Patrol confronting Captain America & Dr. Druid);
    #404, pg. 4, panel 2 (Night Patrol pair sent away by Dr. Druid)
        pg. 8, panel 4 (town, view from above);
        pg. 12, panel 5 (presumably mayor Seward);
    #405, pg. 6, panel 3 (John and other Moonchildren in human forms, transformed into wolfen by Dredmund)
        pg. 9, panel 1-2 (Druid's study; diagrams & Moongem);
    #406, pg. 1 (Wolf Pit, top);
        pg. 2, panel 3 (Wolf Pit, interior);
        pg. 8, panel 4 (Pit Wolves directed by Capwolf);
        pg. 16, panel 4 (Dredmund addressing Moonchildren);
        pg. 17, panel 4 (Moonchildren attacking Capwolf);
    #408, pg. 7, panel 1 (Mayor Seward, upper, close);
        pg. 8, panel 2 (statue; head, from above);
            panel 3 (statue profile, head covered by word balloon);
Secret Defenders I#23, pg. 1, panel 3 (town layout and "Welcome to Starksboro" (sic) sign);
        pg. 5, panel 1 (House of Wyldwind interior);
        pg. 20, panel 3 (Slorioth's tabernacle appearing);
    #24, pg. 4, panel 1 (Slorioth's tabernacle)
            pg. 6, panel 5 (corridor in Slorioth's tabernacle);
            pg. 11, panel 1 (Slorioth's tabernacle, interior);
            pg. 19, panel 1 (Slorioth's tabernacle, interior; in background behind Druid's dark form);
    #25, pg. 10, panel 2 (Slorioth's tabernacle)
        pg. 33, panel 1 (House of Wyldwind exterior);
            panel 3 (interior)


Appearances:
Marvel Premiere#4 (September, 1972) - Archie Goodwin & Roy Thomas (writers), Barry Windsor-Smith (pencils), Frank Brunner (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Premiere#5 (November, 1972) - Gardner F. Fox (writer), Irv Wesley (pencils), Don Perlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Premiere#6 (January, 1973) - Gardner F. Fox (writer), Frank Brunner (pencils), Sal Buscema (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Premiere#7 (March, 1973) - Gardner F. Fox (writer), Craig Russell (pencils), Mike Esposito, Frank Giacoia, & David Hunt (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain America I#402-403 (July, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (penciler), Danny Bulanadi (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#404 (August, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (penciler), Danny Bulanadi, Donald C. Hudson, Raymond Kryssing (inkers), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#405-408 (August-October, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (penciler), Danny Bulanadi (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Secret Defenders#22-25 (December, 1994 - March, 1995) - Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich (writers), Bill Wylie (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
X-Men: Black Sun#2 (November, 2000) - by Chris Claremont (writer), Len Wein (script), Thomas Derenick (penciler), Mark McKenna (inker), Mike Marts (editor)


First posted: 02/28/2022
Last updated: 03/12/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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