The Black Lama is an extra-dimensional mystic who attempted to set Earth's leading super-criminals at war with one another. To this end he invited (presumably among others) Doctor Doom, the Red Skull and even Fu Manchu to destroy all other major supervillains; the ultimate survivor would receive a shimmering golden globe, which, the Black Lama claimed, would bestow the user with the calm of mind and spiritual balance to finally realize their dreams, but they declined. The Lama made the same offer to MODOK, the Mad Thinker, the Mandarin and the Yellow Claw, and they accepted. In the ensuing struggle, the Mandarin apparently perished, and the ultimate, surprising victor was outsider Gary Gilbert, the original Firebrand.
Iron Man, who had come to realize that the Black Lama was a serious threat, and that all of his bizarre claims contradicted each other, intervened when the Lama bestowed the Golden Globe on Firebrand, and all three were drawn into another dimension together.
Here, the absurd truth was revealed: the Black Lama was a traveler from an alternate Earth, the king of one of many small kingdoms that exist there instead of the United States of America. Not only that, he was actually the other-dimensional counterpart of Gerald Ford, the then-president of the US. He had grown bored with his all-too-mundane life as king, and had sought excitement by traveling to another dimension via the Golden Globe. But the transition had driven him insane; in his delusional state, he had decided to make someone change places with him and send them back to his world; he believed this would restore his sanity.
Now back in his own dimension, King Jerald turned out to be a perfectly agreeable sort, who helped Iron Man to return home, taking Gary Gilbert with him and finally ending the "War of the Super-Villains".
The golden globe of power allowed the Black Lama to travel to different dimensional planes, becoming intangible when bridging them. The device also instilled mystic ability, making him a powerful hypnotist who could use meditation and emotion to generate power, and to develop power in others. Maddened by cosmic imbalance, he infected others and unwittingly established mind links.