Kulan Gath

First Appearance: Marvel Team-Up 79, but that's just the "mainstream" Marvel Universe. Kulan Gath first showed up way back in the too-expensive-for-me Conan the Barbarian 14.
What's His Problem? To paraphrase one Dr. Clayton Forrester, whattaya want? He's evil! EEEVIL!!! Ahem... besides a typical thirst for power, he was also a lot more accustomed to his native Hyborean era, which he planned to recreate. Not to mention that he's been cooped up in a tacky necklace for several millennia, which is enough to make anyone cranky.
Abilities: Kulan Gath is said to have practiced magic which the Sons of Set wouldn't touch; one obvious example was to transfer his soul (for want of a better word) into a black and gold amulet, allowing him to mold any host bodies he possesses into his own. He has shown the somewhat standard magical procedures of summoning demons, mystic energy bursts, illusions, teleportation and healing. More disturbing was his power over body and soul, physically altering the likes of Charles Xavier and Stephen Strange while mentally corrupting others. But his coup de grace was the spell he cast that changed Manhattan into a more manageable barbaric equivalent, from ships and buildings to individual clothes and memories.
Favorite Quote: "Ah, Selene, weren't you always saying that overconfidence... would prove the death of me?!?" (Uncanny X-Men 190. Kullie scolds his ancient enemy as he teleports said Black Queen of the Hellfire Club -- or rather, an unwillingly disguised Magma -- to his lair by having an illusion of his own prune-face swallow her. That's Freudian, right?)
Heroes He Keeps Running Into: Conan and Elric of Melnibone got first dibs during Kulan Gath's pre-historic bid for power, but it was Conan's "associate" Red Sonja who cut out Gath's heart. Rather than let Gath get off that easy, Sonja became one with Mary Jane Watson and fought the sorcerer alongside Spider-Man when Gath popped up in Manhatten a few millenia later. Soon after resurfacing and creating his little Heck-on-Earth, he had to deal with several altered-yet-still-heroic X-Men and Avengers; although it was Selene who would dethrone and destroy him, the fact became moot when Dr. Strange combined his abilities with Illyana Rasputin's to alter the timeline (or make a new one, or something -- it was hard for us mere mortals to comprehend) that returned the Big Apple to relative normalcy. His re-emergence prevented beforehand, Kulan Gath is presumably still trapped within his necklace, which sank into some muck under some subway tracks. (This, incidentally, was the plot device used to bring in Nimrod...)
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: At one point he was high priest of the N'Garai, an extremely nasty race of demons (as Xavier's students could attest). He did recruit the Vision, the Scarlet Witch, the New Mutants and dozens of Morlocks to help his savage rule, but they learned quickly that he was not the most lenient of overlords.
Most Despicable Act: Despite Strange's claim that the city's transformation never actually "happened," it still managed to cosume several issues of the Uncanny X-Men. During the non-event, the travesties Kulan Gath inflicted upon many citizens were horrible: he enslaved the Wasp by transforming her into a life-sucking monstrosity, butchery was his minions form of law enforcement, children were sacrificed to help his spell remake the world, and he tortured a certain "Man-Spider" to death just out of spite.

by Ray Schaff


Kulan Gath Mug Shots!


Marvel Team-Up 79
1979

Uncanny X-Men 190
1985

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