- Weak souls taste lovely.
- -- Chthon src
Billions of years ago, shortly after the formation of the Earth, the Demiurge, the sentient life force of Earth's biosphere, seeded the young planet with its essence, creating a race of Elder Gods, the foremost of which were Chthon, and his siblings Set, Gaea, and Oshtur. The Elder Gods proliferated across the planet and ruled it for a million years. Chthon spent his time studying the mystical forces of the universe and eventually became the Earth's first black magician.
Elder Gods degeneration
Over time, at least 1 billion years ago, the Elder Gods degenerated and turned into demons, warring with one another and struggling for power and influence. Gaea, who had not been corrupted, feared for the safety of the new life brewing within the Earth's oceans. She went to the Demiurge and asked it to conceive in her a means in which to vanquish the demons. She entered the depths of the Earth and gave birth to Atum, the first of a race of new gods. Atum went around the Earth, slaying the demons and absorbing their energy. Atum then took on a monstrous appearance and became Demogorge, the God-Eater.
Chthon managed to escape the God-Eater by fleeing into another dimension, which he was imprisoned within. Before he left, Chthon inscribed all his arcane knowledge on scrolls made from indestructible parchment and left them behind to serve as a physical link between Earth and his new home should he ever choose to return.
Continued influence on Earth
Chthon's new dimension was close enough to continue influencing Earth. A pact was struck between the surviving Elder Gods (Chthon, Set, Gaea, and the returning Oshtur) that each would occupy their own realms and not directly interfere with each others' territory. Earth was the realm of Gaea, and so Chthon was banned from ever returning there, or else face the wraith of the Demogorge. Still, he found ways to intervene indirectly, through the demon races he created, which were not bound by his oath. The N'Garai were among the demon races he spawned. He was soon worshiped by the "first who crawled out of the mud" to worship the Great Old Ones, the Broodlings of Chthon, whom he also created.
In medieval times, Morgan le Fay formed a cult of mystics around the power of the Darkhold, and attempted to summon Chthon to do their bidding. Being invited back to Earth by its residents was a loophole in Chthon's pact with the other Elder Gods, although he was under no obligation to obey his summoners. Realizing their mistake, Morgan's cult could not fully banish Chthon from Earth as he was in primordial times. Instead, they bound him to a single location on Earth, Mount Wundagore in what would become the Eastern European nation of Transia.
Morgan's tower became the resting place for the Darkhold itself, bound by spells to prevent it from being used for evil. A mystic from the Age of Camelot known as Modred entered the tower, intending to harness the power of the Darkhold for good. In his guise as the Other, Chthon appeared to Modred and tried to bargain for his soul. Modred refused to give up his soul to the demon, but when his lady love Janice entered the tower (and Chthon's field of influence) Modred sacrificed his soul to spare Janice's.
In modern times, the High Evolutionary built his citadel on Mount Wundagore, and unknowingly came under Chthon's watch. His associate Jonathan Drew was possessed by the spirit of Magnus, one of Morgan le Fay's old disciples, and warned against the threat of Chthon. After evolving his New Men from animals, the High Evolutionary trained them with a code of honor like the knights of old, preparing them to face Chthon should he ever rise again. Indeed he did, and so Magnus and the Knights of Wundagore drove Chthon back into his mountain slumber.
Before he left this world, however, Chthon reached out and touched an infant girl being born on Wundagore that night, marking her as a potential vessel for the future. That girl would be called Wanda.
Modred resurfaced in the modern era, awakened from his long sleep, but he continued to resist the influence of the Other.
After Modred finally succumbed to Chthon's influence, he captured the Scarlet Witch and performed the ritual allowing Chthon to use her as his vessel on Earth. Wanda, as Chthon, opposed the Avengers when they arrived to help her, and imprisoned them in a mystical circle that would summon Chthon fully to Earth. However, the Beast arrived, dressed as one of Chthon's old nemeses from the Knights of Wundagore to distract him, and seized the Darkhold before the ritual was complete. Django Maximoff crafted a doll in Wanda's image (fatefully using wood from Wundagore imbued with some of Chthon's own power), and it acted as a conduit for Wanda's soul. She regained her body while Chthon was trapped in the doll. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch then buried the doll in an avalanche, leaving Chthon in his dimension once more.
Chthon had several plans working at once to ensure his rebirth, however. Vittorio Montesi was the latest in a long line of Montesi priests employed by the Vatican to guard against the rise of Chthon and the influence of the Darkhold. The Montesis even had special dispensation from the Vatican to marry and sire heirs, keeping their bloodline active against the forces of evil. Vittorio was sterile, however, and felt pressure to continue his family line, so he gave in to temptation and used the Darkhold to impregnate his wife. The misogynistic Vittorio thought Chthon had made sport of him when his child turned out to be a daughter, not a son like he wanted. Worse, Victoria Montesi was a lesbian, something the old-world Vittorio considered an abomination. Little did he realize this was the least of Chthon's actions.
As an adult, Victoria came to lead a team of "Darkhold Redeemers", fighting the proliferation of Darkhold spells being disseminated in the world. In time, however, they learned that Victoria was actually the child of Chthon, not Vittorio, and the Elder God impregnated her in order to be reborn on the Earthly plane. Doctor Strange contained Victoria in a time-locked stasis for months while trying to find a way to stop the rebirth. Fortunately, he was eventually successful.
Chthon resurfaced and killed the New Men at Mt. Wundagore, with no Doctor Strange to counter this new threat. Knowing about Chthon's activities, and how they had taken down most superheroes, Loki, disguised as the Scarlet Witch, helped to reform the Mighty Avengers to combat him. However, Modred successfully summoned Chthon into the body of Quicksilver and Chthon arrived, claiming that this reality would fall before him in a blink of an eye. Using Quicksilver's powers, Chthon altered the effects of the chaos cascade caused by Modred reading the Darkhold to whatever he desired. But the Mighty Avengers defeated him using teamwork.
Ant-Man used his ants to scramble Quicksilver's nerve signals, rendering him unable to remember any spells. After a goading from "Wanda" about the destruction of his world, Bruce Banner transformed into the Hulk and pounded the Chthon possessed Quicksilver, while Hank Pym spoke encouraging words to those present, reducing their belief in the Elder God's strength, weakening him further. Though Chthon managed to blast Hulk off, his host body was severely damaged and now unable to contain his power, so he left Quicksilver's body and entered Modred's body, but at the same time, Vision read one of the spells from the Darkhold, imprisoning the Elder God within the tome, thereby averting the threat.
Prophecy of the Red Slayer
A new member of the Darkholders, Barry Gleason, attempted to enact a ritual to resurrect Chthon using the symbiote-empowered serial killer Carnage, who he believed to be the subject of a prophecy in the Darkhold: "When the Red Slayer spills blood on sacred stone, he who sleeps shale wake and what walked once will walk again." The Darkholders' attempt to sacrifice Carnage backfired, infusing him with the Darkhold's eldritch power and compelling him to journey to a secret island in the Timor Sea, where a temple to Chthon had been built and guarded by the Broodlings of Chthon.
Carnage was able to awaken Chthon, who manifested as a blue-skinned eldritch monster and began devouring the Broodlings present. When Carnage demanded to be rewarded, Chthon casually swatted him aside and began summoning the other evil gods. However, he was confronted by Jubulile van Scotter who used the combined power of her own Darkhold-augmented symbiote, the Darkhold-augmented Raze symbiote, and the Toxin symbiote to face him in combat and ultimately banish him.
During Hydra's takeover of America, Chthon possessed Scarlet Witch again. Under possession, Wanda became a member of Hydra's Avengers. She was eventually freed from Chthon's possession by Doctor Strange during the final battle against Hydra.
|Power Grid |
Chthon is one of the most powerful Elder Gods of Earth, who has degenerated into a demonic state. He has the vast ability to manipulate magical energies for a variety of effects. He has manifested himself in humanoid form, but can take various forms; his true form, if he has one, has not been revealed. Chthon is a being of unimaginable mystical power, specifically that which can be called black magic. In the dimension he has created for himself he controls every aspect of reality. He can also send his power out of that dimension when invoked to do so by a spellcaster, though when this is done the spellcaster's soul is forfeit to the Elder God. Otherwise Chthon is unable to move freely through dimensions and is trapped in his own because it would take an enormous mystical rift to convey the immense mystical power of the Elder God.
Despite his great powers, Chthon cannot freely teleport between dimensions because it takes such an enormous inter-dimensional rift to accommodate the massive magical forces within him. Moreover, Gaea has erected magical screens, reinforced over millennia by hundreds of human sorcerers, which prevent him from traveling to Earth unless he undertakes highly elaborate preparations. Hence, Chthon prefers to manifest himself on Earth by taking possession of mortal host bodies, although it appears that he cannot easily (if at all) exercise his full mystical power through such bodies.
Telepathy: This ability enables him to read, control, and communicate with the minds of others, even across dimensional barriers.
Dark & Chaos Magic Mastery: Chthon is a being of unimaginable mystical power, specifically that which can be called black magic & chaos magic.
Other-realm Control: In the dimension he has created for himself he controls every aspect of reality.
Mystic Patron: He can also send his power out of that dimension when invoked to do so by a spellcaster, though when this is done the spellcaster's soul is forfeit to the Elder God.
Other Connection: Until Chthon finds a way to truly free himself from his other-dimensional realm, he can operate on Earth through his elemental host, known as the Other, which is summoned when someone uses the Darkhold. The Other can manifest itself in any appearance it wants, but its actions on the Earthly sphere are generally limited by the demands of the user of the Darkhold. If the proper rituals are performed, Chthon can also take over mortal host-bodies on Earth, but he can not easily transfer all of his totality to these forms, and often even the fraction he can is too much for the form to contain.
Demonic Possession: If the proper rituals are performed, Chthon can also take over mortal host-bodies on Earth, but he can not easily transfer all of his totality to these forms, and often even the fraction he can is too much for the form to contain.
Chthon has an extraordinary knowledge of the dark mystical forces of the cosmos, and cataloged the evil spells of the demonic Elder Gods of Earth in the Darkhold. He is the original author of the Darkhold, an indestructible collection of evil mystical knowledge and spells that he intended to serve as the medium through which he could return to Earth. The Darkhold can apparently change its form, since Chthon created it millions of years before the rise of humanity, to whom it appeared as a set of scrolls with human writing upon them. Most people who use the Darkhold's spells fall under Chthon's mental control as a result. Only humans with great spiritual strength (or aided by great mystical expertise), like Doctor Strange and the members of the Montesi family can successfully resist this mental enslavement. The Darkhold’s power is so vast it took the combined strength and will of both Merlin (the most accomplished Earth sorcerer of all time) and Brendan to contain it, and even together, they were unable to destroy it or its power. Mordred also seemed to believe that use of the Darkhold would grant him sufficient strength to challenge Merlin himself.
Dimensional Entrapment: Without the Darkhold, Chthon is unable to move freely through dimensions and is trapped in his own because it would take an enormous mystical rift to convey the immense mystical power of the Elder God.
Dependency on Extra-dimensional Living Vessel: As shown during several of Chthon's summonings on Earth, though the occupation of a human would enable Chthon to share the human's abilities, he would also be left more vulnerable, in both mind and body, even magically augmented. For example, it is through a physical mind that a human processes information and which a human mystic can utter incantations and thus cast spells to work magic; if the physical mind or its processes were somehow disrupted, even through non-mystical means, Chthon would be temporarily deprived of spell-casting ability.
- In Carnage Vol 2, Chthon is treated as being nigh-identical to H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu (who already exists in the Marvel Universe):
- He is depicted as a towering creature with octopus-like tentacles in Carnage Vol 2 #14 and Carnage Vol 2 #15.
- Furthermore, Chthon speaks in the eldritch language used in H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.
- He is also named "He Who Sleeps" (shall wake), recalling some names of the Old One Shuma-Gorath.
- Chthon is included among the Old Ones and Great Old Ones in Carnage Vol 2 #14 (the Old Ones have frequently been called Elder Gods, but they are different from the Elder Gods of Earth).
- 48 Appearances of Chthon (Earth-616)
- 8 Minor Appearances of Chthon (Earth-616)
- Media Chthon (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 15 Images featuring Chthon (Earth-616)
- 3 Quotations by or about Chthon (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Chthon (Earth-616)
Discover and Discuss
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Mighty Avengers #23
- ↑ Carnage Vol 2 #2
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Carnage Vol 2 #4
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Carnage Vol 2 #14
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Carnage Vol 2 #15
- ↑ Avengers #186
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #90
- ↑ Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #13
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Marvel Chillers #1
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Marvel Tarot #1
- ↑ Mystic Arcana Magik #1
- ↑ Heroic Age: Villains #1
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Thor Annual #10
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Silver Surfer Annual #2
- ↑ Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica #1; Atum's entry's education field that he possess one billion years of life experience, while also state that he was born to end the Elder Gods degeneration
- ↑ Avengers #187
- ↑ Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #11
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Carnage Vol 2 #8
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #7
- ↑ Marvel Comics Presents #145
- ↑ Carnage Vol 2 #11
- ↑ Conan the Barbarian #245
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 Avengers #186-187
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22
- ↑ Uncanny X-Men Annual #1988
- ↑ Marvel Chillers #1-2
- ↑ Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins #1-16
- ↑ Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #61
- ↑ Mighty Avengers #21
- ↑ Mighty Avengers #22
- ↑ Carnage Vol 2 #5-12
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 Carnage Vol 2 #16
- ↑ Secret Empire #4
- ↑ Secret Empire #1
- ↑ Secret Empire #9
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #2
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #2
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 2
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